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Students lead fight against youth violence

SUPPORT: Former Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita welcomes the Young Soldierz project

A GROUP of young people in Edmonton, north London have won praise for their efforts to bring an end to gang and knife crime in their area.

The Young Soldierz, a 25 strong group of primary, secondary and college students won support for a march they organized last month to draw attention to the rising number of gang related incidents in the area.

The group was formed after local young people who were concerned about youth violence in the area decided to hold an event to address the problem.

Now after the success of the march, called Schools Against Violence in Enfield (SAVE), Young Soldierz is organising a petition.

The petition is calling on the government to introduce stronger measures to tackle youth crime. It has been endorsed by Edmonton MP Andy Love.

Reverend Patrick Agdomar who formed the group eight years ago said he and others in Edmonton were determined to tackle the issue head on.

He said “It is very encouraging to see the determination in these young people who I believe represent the future of the country. The Soldierz enjoy going into schools, youth clubs and working with encouraging disengaged young people to think positively and making an effective contribution to the community. It is important that young children are nurtured into becoming young leaders and social ambassadors to instigate change and better prospects for themselves and others. Giving young people something to aim for is purposeful and revolutionary and is the key to the Soldierz motivation and prevents young people steering away into a life of delinquency.”

PROTEST: Students and local people during the SAVE march

As well as the petition, The Young Soldierz are also developing a social leadership project that will involve them travelling to America later this year to support disadvantaged youth. They are lobbying for more active means of youth leadership to tackle aspects of youth violence.

Adogmar said “The Young Soldierz believe you are never too young to have a vision to impact the world around you. Central to the young Soldierz outlook is the notion that to believe and achieve. I encourage them to not only develop the capacity to conceive the difference they want to be but support them in creating the strategies for making this happen”

Nick De Bois, MP for Enfield North is among the public figures who have praised Young Soldierz. He said that the group was “a great sign of positive young people taking back the community against violence and it’s what we all want.”

Former Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita also welcomed the group’s efforts. She said “Its fantastic what they are doing so keep up the good work. Public leaders need to listen to your voices.”

For more information about the petition please email more information.

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