"I want to give both young people and representatives from State institutions the opportunity to be heard without feeling as if they are being backed into a corner"
Mark, Youth Futures Young Leader
The Ubuntu Police-Youth Project is based on the Tutu Foundation UK's successful Conversations for Change programme and Youth Future's successful Youth Futures Round Table discussion programme with the Police in Camberwell. The Ubuntu Police-Youth project’s objectives are twofold:
- to provide the members of the police force working on the ground and the young people in those communities with the skills and confidence to listen to each other and express themselves to each other.
- Enable the police and young people to build trust and so that they can work with each other and talk to each other to build safer communities.
Both of these objective include elements of education and training so people learn about each other and start to gain the skills they need to interact constructively with other people in their community, including the police and young people.
Relations between young people and the police have historically been tense and rife with mistrust. Negative portrayals of both sides have left communities unsupportive of and resistant to police interactions. There is a political desire and a pragmatic need to improve the relationship so that policing can be more effective and efficient for everyone. This project helps do that.
The Ubuntu Police-Youth Project will develop in four stages that train and educate the participants so that they can establish self-perpetuating local forums for discussion and engagement between police and the local youth community. Each project will include an independent continuous evaluation programme.
“The training was very in depth and helped me understand a lot about life and dealing with crowds and small groups in regards to getting my point across. When I gave my facilitation at the end of the training, and got very good feedback, this uplifted my spirit to a fulfilment of confidence and a hunger to spread what I have learnt to my peers. Since the last event, the Tutu Foundation has given me more principles to move forward with through life, and I will continue to work with the Foundation as long as I can.”
Karl, Gang member and stabbing victim who took part in the Tutu foundation UK Conversations for Change project in Croydon.