Former Homeless Man Following Dream Career As Chef

published on 17 Jun 2014

Four years ago Abdi Faatax was living on the streets. Now thanks to The Salvation Army, the 29-year-old is following his dream of working as chef.

Abdi is a resident at Tŷ Gobaith - a lifehouse for homeless adults in Cardiff city centre.

Since moving to the Lifehouse, Abdi taken advantage of in-house schemes such as jobs training and learning life skills.

So far Abdi has completed 11 courses with Learn Direct and is studying towards a four main qualifications, including Arabic, and maths. He also completed a Ready to Cook course and is seeking opportunities to volunteer in the catering industry.

His hard work and commitment to learning has earned him the Essential Skills for Life Learner Award at the Inspire! Adult Learning Awards.

The awards are held each year ahead of Adult Learners’ Week (June 14-20) to celebrate the achievements of a small number of outstanding learners in Wales who have shown exceptional passion, commitment and drive for learning, often in the face of difficult circumstances.

Abdi said: “The courses have changed my life and are stepping stones to the level I want to reach in maths. Learning has made me be more active and I have decided to volunteer where I’m living, to help out.

“My message to other learners is that Learn Direct courses are easy to understand, they teach you things, and are fun. So give it a go.

“I’m planning to keep learning as much as I can, especially building on my numeracy and maths. Eventually I’m hoping to become a chef so I’m looking for opportunities to build my knowledge and experience here where I live.”

Stephanie Knight, specialist support worker at Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse, said: “Abdi is an inspiration, not only for his qualifications, but for possessing the belief in himself and identifying the learning necessary for him to achieve his goals in education and living in the community.

“Salvation Army lifehouses provide more than just a bed for the night. They’re a place of change that puts people at the heart of everything we do.

“Abdi and his achievements are an inspiration for other residents. He has proven that you can progress towards goals for education and employment, regardless of history, past events or current circumstances.”