It’s coming up to half a year since I was in the beautiful town of Srebrenica as part of The Complete Freedom of Truth, working with a wonderfully gifted group of young people and embracing my love of art, culture and blogging.
Over the past five months, I’ve continued the on the path of growth and progression that TFCT helped me so much with. Developing my confidence over those two weeks in August is something I’ve taken back with me to my hometown of Croydon in the UK, as I begin the process of leading out on my youth platform.
It’s no secret that I’m a writer. Writing is my first love – it’s something I think is beautiful, expressive and insightful – and I wanted others to engage in that love with me, so I started Young People Insight.
Young People Insight is my blog, which is all about young people using their voice to provide an insight into young people that others may not see. I not only wanted to address and get to the root of some of the issues affecting young people, but also inspire them by highlighting events or sharing their stories. However, I soon wanted more.
I decided that I wanted YP Insight to have an offline presence as well as an online presence, as I could see the importance and value of face-to-face interaction among young people. After all, it shouldn’t be about technology all of the time. That’s when the idea for my youth forums was born.
My vision to start holding YP Insight forums originated early last year, but it has now become a reality, with my first forum being held yesterday. I want young people to come as they are and feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts, opinions or personal stories, even though they may come from different walks of life.
This is just the start, with forums taking place on the third Tuesday of every month for anyone who is 16-25. In addition to this, I want to host workshops in partnership with other organisations, hold social events that will hopefully break down barriers in the community and run various projects with groups of young people. Ultimately, my plan is for YP Insight to become a youth organisation.
But my big dream is to eventually open a youth centre in Croydon, which will be home to all of these activities. It was my visit to Srebrenica that inspired this dream, after seeing the youth centre and all of the great things that it could offer – I wanted this for my hometown. I want to be able to provide a space where young people can do something constructive, while feeling safe and at ease.
Nevertheless, this is all a work in progress and I still have a long way to go before my dreams and plans can become a reality. Finding the right people to make up my team is proving to be a tough task and there is the mission of securing funds. I’m also a work in progress – I still have a lot of growing to do within myself and I will need to eventually get a youth work qualification.
I’m excited for what the future will bring and watching how Young People Insight will continue to develop over the coming months. It will mean that I have something special to share with my TCFT family, who have played a part in my journey so far.