The head of a Surrey, B.C.-based organization that works with Somali immigrants and refugees wants better gang prevention programs for youth, as the community grapples with 23 shootings in two months.

RCMP have said the shootings are connected to a turf war between rival Somali and South Asian gangs.

“It’s a big problem generally in the youth. If there are no youth programs the Somalis won’t be there,” Amos Kambere, Executive Director of theUmoja Operation Compassion Society of BC, told The Early Edition’sRick Cluff.

Huge culture shock

Kambere said many of the Somalis who come to Canada have suffered violence in refugee camps and experience a huge culture shock when they arrive.

“These people are coming with issues of trauma, issues of mental health and when they come here they are overwhelmed.”