Wales boasts a proud, multicultural, inerracial society, with a long history of significant contributions made by immigrants and people from ethnic minorities. Though much of this history has largely been hidden, this project seeks to provide a significant component of Welsh Somali history, principally through the use of databases and narratives, to be made accessible to members of the public.
Many families can trace over 100 years of family history back to the seamen who first settled in Wales. Before now, much of this history was hidden, and risked being lost. Thanks to the arrival of new database and ways to access archive data, we hope to prevent that and bring the crucial role that Somali and Yemeni people have played in Welsh history to light and make it easily accessible to the public.
Our vision is to provide an easy to use resource which promotes a positive history of Somalian and Yemeni people, and a pride in the contributions made by them to the historic development of Cardiff as a city. We hope that this will also create a better cultural understanding of a very diverse group within the community.
For centuries Wales has been accommodating towards immigrants. Many Somali and Yemeni seamen worked as firemen and donkey men onboard steamships in the tramp trade, travelling from their home countries and settling in Wales in an effort to secure a new life.
As all seamen held identity or discharge books, detailing the name of their ship and its journey as well as the port they boarded and exited from, we hope to offer a rich database to help the people of Wales connect to an often overlooked area of their heritage
Our heritage is important to how we see ourselves and the way in which we identify as individuals and communities. The history of Somali and Yemeni immigration into the UK and Wales in particular is untold. We hope that this project can begin to tell the story of Somali people in Wales and their contribution to Welsh history.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund: Using money raised through the National Lottery thanks to National Lottery Players, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. www.hlf.org.uk Follow us on facebook HLFWales and Twitter @HLFCymru