Ubuntu: I am because we are


The recent riots earlier this month seemed to influence a reaction that young people, in particular, are rebellious, futureless and simply out to ruin their streets. However, OBV’s Lewisham Civic Leadership participants, Juney Muhammad and Daniel Pink have been working with young people between the ages of 11-19 and encouraging them to take up leadership roles, not giving in to this stereotypical view, but instead prove that they are able to do something constructive in the community and in their lives.

Family Health Isis, in conjunction with Ubuntu Social Living Networks, a voluntary organisation, will hold their inaugural event entitled “Our Story” showcasing music, poetry recitals, a fashion showcase and cultural story telling. The event was organised by the young people themselves and was borne out of the frustration of not having their voices heard and to celebrate positive representation and achievements of young Black people.

Ubuntu Social Living Networks is inspired by the challenges facing young people of African/African-Caribbean heritage, and the concept that they ‘can do great things’. Ubuntu means “I am because we are”.

Eighteen year old Perrie who has played an active role organising the event said,

“Young people can do great things. Let us rise above the riots and chaos into higher thinking and action!”

The group is facilitated by Muhammad and Pink who have many years of experience working with young people. They believe that the young people of this generation have a lot to offer and by organising events such as these they can indeed share their thoughts, passions and talents, and in doing so paint a different and more positive image of our youth.

Sixteen year old Ishmael, a member of the Ubuntu programme said,

“Ubuntu has given me the confidence to stand up for myself and speak freely to the community. It has also given me the power to overcome struggle and stress, which has enabled me to become a loving and understanding young Black male of the community”

There is no doubt that this event will be a success, a celebration of their achievements and they will be joined by a number of local dignitaries attending, including the Young Mayor of Lewisham.

Our story event by Family Health Isis and Ubuntu Social Living Networks will be held on 2nd September 2011 at St Marys Centre, Ladywell Road, Ladywell SE13 7HU at 6:30pm.

For more information and to buy a ticket, click here

Sarah Ojo

Picture: Members from Ubuntu