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Community speak out about youths

SPEAKING OUT: Mark Prince, whose son Kiyan was stabbed to death outside his school in 2006

THE TRUST set up in memory of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is running a campaign called 18:18 to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Stephen Lawrence Trust said the 18:18 campaign, which aims to raise £1 million over the next 12 months, signifies Stephen’s age, 18, when he was killed – and the number of years that have passed since the murder.

Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence, said the money raised from the fundraising campaign would support the Trust's education and employability programme, giving grants and bursaries to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and helping them to access professions where they are under-represented.

As part of the campaign, the Stephen Lawrence Trust recently gave community residents the chance to have their say on issues currently facing young black Britons, and the solutions to these issues.

Here are the views of six people who attended the October 18 event.

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Jacob Sakil, former Lewisham young mayor

“I THINK one of the main problems we have in our community is that young people have a lack of self-image.
“Self-image always has to do with you loving yourself and understanding what your ancestors contributed to the society, how you stand in society and what you can give back to society.”

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Arnold Sarfo Kantanka, founder of UK-based Ghanaian cultural movement Me Firi-Ghana

“A LOT of the issues facing young people come from self-esteem. It is like a ship, it is controlled by the wheels but influenced by outside forces like the wind. Young people are influenced by external forces such as their peers and school.”

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Royston John, National Coalition Building Institution

“ONE OF the ways we can support our young people to be the next generation of leaders is to identify talent and nurture it, and give it opportunities to develop. To find out where we are going, we need to know where we are.”

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Janet Daby, Labour councillor

“I BELIEVE everyone needs to have a certain purpose. My strength is knowing that somebody believes in me, and because the person believes in me I am able to believe in myself and achieve.”

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Disciple Samuel Georgewill, student

“THE PRIME Minister talks about hugging a hoodie… Why can’t he go to the streets..? Politicians should learn to address young people on their own level.”

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Mark Prince, father of murdered teenager Kiyan Prince and executive director of the Kiyan Prince Foundation

“YOUNG PEOPLE talk to me, and all they talk to me about is (money). Many of them have lost their way… Young people need to find their purpose.”

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