May 24th, 2013

Working ‘with’ rather than ‘on’…

I have been thinking this week about the picture we present to others about the young people we work with. It’s important to the Canaan Project that we are honest with ourselves, our funders and most importantly with the young people we work with.

The latest film ‘I Want to Be’ paints a beautiful picture of some inspirational, beautiful young women, pregnant with possibility and hope for the future. We work with these young women primarily because they are ‘young’. We work with them accompanying them on their journey through adolescence sometimes we help the navigation of that path toward adulthood, pointing out pit falls or interesting routes, sometimes we stand back and pick up the pieces, sometimes we celebrate, sometimes support, we sometimes cry and mourn, working ‘with’ them rather than ‘on’ but because they are young people. We work with them because they are full of potential and we want them to develop in to inter-dependant adults creating a better society.

There can be a tendency to paint dark pictures of young people in order to create need, they are; homeless, shot at, eating out of bins, starving, they witness awful things (I have heard these this week about young people in London), and this may be some young peoples experience but by far the majority experience none of these and are simply trying to navigate adolence and difficulties which are serious, if not sensational. At the Canaan Project we aim to paint positive pictures of young people because this is how we view young people.