i do a lot of work with young people. I average around 10,000 a year in primary but mainly secondary schools schools, colleges, PRU’s, YOI’s and youth Clubs. I do it because i love them. Can i say that? Yes i can because i do. In them i see so much beauty, potential and love and as an adult, i feel guilty by the way many adults treat them.
In schools they are screamed at and bullied by a system that totally fails to recognise their needs. Our education system fails them in so many ways due to a ridiculous National Curriculum that is more focused on testing them than teaching them.
On the streets they are ignored and feared by grown ups and at home many of them are failed by those who claim to love.
At work they are treated like second class citizens, paid peanuts and put in danger everyday.
I believe that as adults we must do more for young people because it is tough to be young today. With youth suicide spiralling out of control and a highly sophisticated media daily telling them that they are failures because they can not afford the latest trainers, games console or Jeans. We have a responsibility.
What have you done to help a young person in the last 24hours, week, month or year? Sometimes it is as simple as a smile or a nod or a hello.
Start now by voting for an amazing project in Manchester, UK called Reclaim. They have made a film about their project and i was honoured to be asked to contribute to this film by writing the poem that accompanies it. (see below)
Check out all the films here – it is in the small organisations section of the “do gooder awards” – have a look at the film and vote for it – then this can be the start of your commitment to young people, to make their lives better even if it is only with a smile, a nod, a hello or a vote.
Alone I walk these crowded streets
I’m half awake I’m half asleep
Down Cul-de-sacs of broken dreams
Through empty parks inside I scream
And you can see it in my face
Hope has disappeared without a trace
I’m coming last in lifes longest race
I need someone to shine a light
Someone to throw a rope
To help me stand back up again
To remember there is hope
I need someone to look inside and the windows of my soul
To tell me things are achievable to help me reach my goals
I need someone to lend a hand and guide me on my way
To reclaim this voice inside my head so as I can have my say
I have so much to offer if you only take the time
To stop, to take a minute and to look into my eyes
And with your help I’ll realize that things can be achieved
When you look into my eyes
You look into my dreams
It matters not from where I come
My music, clothes, my hair
Judge a tree not by its roots
But by the fruit it bears