"A voice has limitless potential; a voice has the ability to make a change." However, why does it often feel that this is not the case, particularly when it comes to young people? It is as if our voices become stagnant, muffled, often ignored by the world around us.
I wrote the words above as part of a spoken word piece, which aims to empower the voices of the youth. This formed the script of a short film I made with Fixers, What Would You Say?
Fixers is a charity that works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK, providing them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about. Many young people choose to create a short film like myself or maybe a poster campaign, or rather hold an event or flash mob.
Empowering the voices of young people is of extreme importance to me, because we all need to speak up on whatever issues may be affecting us, rather than sitting back and complaining, while we watch it happen. If the youth stood up, came together and became the changes they want to see, imagine what amazing things we could do.
Yet for this to happen, it is essential to engage the youth so they feel inspired to rise up and speak out, which is the purpose of this film. I approached Fixers, because I knew that I needed something visual and very special to reach out to a wider group of young people.
I had been using my voice through my love of writing, setting up a blog centred on young people, entitled Young People Insight. Through Young People Insight, I highlight some of the issues affecting young people and how we could possibly address them. I also share stories from and on other young individuals, with the purpose of inspiring the youth and allowing the older generation to get a better idea of who we are.
Young People Insight is about providing a deeper insight into young people, developing discussions and telling the stories that no one gets to read. However, I wanted to take it further and develop those discussions face-to-face, rather than just online. As soon as I became aware of Fixers, I knew that they would be exactly what I needed to spark discussions and engage the youth I wanted to reach.
Coming up with the idea of spoken word was perfect, because it is an art form that young people respond well to, and it also allowed me to bring in four major issues in the most effective way. Although the purpose of the film is to empower the voices of young people, it was important for me to make reference to the youth issues that I am passionate about, as I knew that they would generate thoughts and conversation.
I was overcome with emotion and happiness when I first saw What Would You Say and getting the positive reactions from everyone has been amazing. I can't wait to use it to do further work in schools, colleges and youth clubs etc. I aim to engage as many young people as possible, because I believe that together we can make a real difference in our community.
"Our voices do matter and we can make a change. So my question to you is, how will you use your voice today?"
For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk