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After Windrush, commissioners turn attention to black youth

PICTURED: Guyana's high commissioner to the UK Hamley Case (centre) with boys and men from The Manhood Academy

GUYANA’S HIGH commissioner to the UK, Hamley Case, has said that he hopes the high commissioners can turn their attention to helping young people in the UK now that the Windrush situation is on the right trajectory.

Case made the comments during a special visit to The Manhood Academy, a charitable programme for young black boys and men, yesterday evening.

Speaking to The Voice, he said: “We high commissioners were very instrumental in bringing the Windrush situation to the fore and now that that is on the right trajectory in terms of being solved, I think I can turn our attention – or at least I hope I can turn our attention now to helping our young people.”

Case was introduced to The Manhood Academy’s work by his daughter Richelle only a couple of weeks ago but once he heard about what they do, he was very keen to get involved.

“I was very enthusiastic to see if I could help because I too was a teenager in London a long time ago in the 1960s but I didn’t have the problems that the young people have today but I listen to the news and I look at the news on television and I’m very concerned about the difficulties that young Caribbean and African young people are having to go through in London,” he said.

In addition to meeting with some of the boys taking part in the programme and their parents, Case made a donation to the programme’s coming of age trip to Gambia and was presented with a Manhood Academy cap.


Boys from The Manhood Academy present Guyana's high commissioner to the UK Hamley Case with a hat

He said: “I feel that if I can help to improve the situation here, I’d be doing something worthwhile.”

Davis Williams, co-founder of The Manhood Academy said: “It was important to bring down the high commissioner here today because a lot of the young people have roots in the Caribbean and Caribbean influenced countries and what’s happening is a lot of the young boys that we work with they don’t know anything about their grandparents roots – that tie has been severed.

“We felt it was important just to bridge that gap between not only them and what the high commissioner can be doing but also the influence that they can have – the high commissioners – in the journey of these young masters.

Case has announced that he will be continuing to support the academy with monthly donations. Williams said he would like to see all of the high commissioners of the Caribbean support the boys in some way.


HELPING YOUNG LONDONERS: Hamley Case (centre), Davis Williams, co-founder of The Manhood Academy (far right)

David, 24, has been volunteering with The Manhood Academy for around six months. He told The Voice the impact that being a part of the initiative has had on him.

“It has really enthused me about the next generation because you realise that the image [of the youth] perpetuated by certain outlets is one of anger, hate, disdain, and when you get up close and personal, really speaking to the youth and the young masters – which we call them – you realise that they are very, very powerful individuals with amazing characteristics and charisma, who are truly destined to be the next leaders.”

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