Students in Camden hostels successfully request wifi from the council

Left to right: Samuel Tesfaye, 17, LMisgana Kahsay, 17, Dianna Weldemichael, 16, Shamme Neby, 13, and Layan Alkebsi, 16

Young people in London hostels without wifi have successfully requested a council to install it in their temporary housing because they claim it will prevent them from falling behind in their academic obligations.

According to her 19-year-old sister Habiba Sabi, Shamme, 13, is having difficulty finishing her work and is falling behind.

Shamme is a member of the young people who successfully petitioned Camden Council to install wifi in hostels.

Georgia Gould, the head of the Camden Council, thanked them for pushing them.

In London, one in every 23 kids now lives in temporary housing, which equates to about one kid per class.

According to Ms. Sabi, she was unable to finish her own schoolwork in 2021 and had to repeat a year of college.

In reference to the predicament of her younger sister, she said, "I now work full-time at a restaurant chain and pay my own phone bill, which I lend to my sister.

But she has to go to bed when I get home from work at 11 p.m.; it's too late for her, so she forgets to do her homework.

"I really don't want her to experience the same thing that did to me. ".

The family received six months of free wifi from the charity Doorstep, which was supported by BBC Children in Need. The family has been living in a hostel since 2020 when the ceiling of their rental property collapsed.

The Camden pupils have asked the council to help them install wifi in their temporary accommodation
The Camden students have requested assistance from the council in installing wifi in their temporary housing.

Shamme is one of five young people living in temporary housing who banded together with the same charity to request that Camden Council install wifi in their hostels, as well as in their schools and libraries.

Layan, a 16-year-old, complained to councilors that moving contracts cost a lot when people leave hostels.

Because internet access is so expensive, many families cannot afford to install it in their bedrooms. ".

Georgia Gould, the leader of Camden Council, announced that the authority would now pay for wifi in the borough's three hostels and consider those in settings that are more transient, like hotels.

"Thanks to your campaign, you've really had an impact. We appreciate your encouragement, Ms. Gould said.

"Families in temporary housing are left wondering if there is any point having a contract for 12 or 18 months if you're not expecting to live there that long," said Sarah Lough, a doorstep children's worker, in a statement to councillors. ".

"We have parents who are unable to get to work because they still lack connectivity, and we have people getting fined because they lack wifi or their data has run out," Ubah Egal of Doorstep continued. ".

Julia Gregory has more reporting.

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