Role Models and Youth Leaders to combat knife Crime
Teenagers and Young adults are impressionable in today’s society.
With Knife and violent crime on an increase; 45,000 recorded knife related incidents in the UK.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, set up the London needs you alive campaign (#LnyA). To bring teachers, youth leaders, Parents and faith communities together; to stop violent crime among the youth.
Starr Radio UK addresses the importance of youth activities, faith and role models with digital Consultant and Youth leader for 15 years, Sheun Onamusi and Supply Teacher and musician Samantha Babooram.
Sheun, who still is involved in Youth mentoring. He started at a Youth club at his church in Northwest London. He expresses that keeping teenagers and children busy is important. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s playground.’
As an Educator, Samantha says; ‘it’s important to get things right in those early stages. They just want someone to be kind to them. It’s important to model love they may not get it at home. It’s so impactful.’
Sheun says, ‘you have to step out of yourself and show love, accept them for who they are.’
He says local initiatives are important activities like music and the arts; ‘Football and sports competitions have been effective. They are seen as part of a team, rather than prove a point with a gun or a knife – let’s fight it out on the [pitch].’ And Youth Groups are one of the few spaces that provide this.
Despite the challenges; lack of funding and a ‘disparity between government and what local communities are trying to achieve.’ Sheun and Samantha both reinforce the importance of speaking positively and speaking life over these Young people.
Showing discipline and love for young people; merging of parents and the community creates a wonderful environment for growth.
‘you don’t have to be an educator or youth leader to make a difference and speak life and love’ says Samantha.
Sheun says ‘it’s important to be vulnerable with them and together we are working to a perfect state. Let them know they deserve better than being in a gang or going to prison and build self-esteem.’