One of the current biggest topics related to young people is unemployment. Yes we know, over a million young people are unemployed (in London alone) but what is actually being done about it?
After sharing ideas over a video conference call with a group of young people from Rio de Janeiro and Birmingham as part of a project with CreateVoice, I must say I realised the difference I could make. The themes of this video conference was
- creating agents of change in underprivileged backgrounds
- how to make the most of your idea
Oi Kabum, an Art & Design college from Rio, look at young people as channels for change in the local community, by giving them a chance to express themselves through design and becoming part of a project designed to spread across young people in an area.
Oi Kabum students work with other young people from favelas, many of them are exposed to issues such as sex, drugs and poverty. They presented several projects and the one which was closer to me was the fanzine one. This project created an opportunity for authors to self-publish their own work, by putting them in touch with other writers and creating a community to network.
Made By Young People is a youth social enterprise who teach underprivileged young people entrepreneurial skills, which they then put into practice by becoming part of the operations of the organisation. The young people on the other side of the screen probably did not pronounce every T and P, or wear Armani suites, but one thing they all said was 'I'm a business owner'. Pretty impressive, they all made me want to have a business then and there (or at least work on it). Plus, I must say I definitely wanted one of their mugs for myself, with each design being personal to the designer.
Made By Young People has created film makers, designers and sales people. Proving that the gap between corporate and creative is not an issue and also that, when given a chance and a step in the right direction, a dedicated young person is willing to work hard and achieve.
It was uplifting to see young people making such a massive difference despite the fact that they had been placed in what some people would say an impossible situation (which is just life really). One thing they made me value was the power of team work. It is easy to forget there is probably a million people sharing the same dream, and a few down the road from you, who would be happy to connect ideas together and make a difference if they knew what you were thinking. So share the joy and follow your dream.
If you want look out for more resources for young people in the arts, click here.
Words by: Piarvé Wetshi