London based youth empowerment project is launching a safe space scheme to tackle gang violence and sexual grooming. The scheme, organised by The YANA Project, will take the form of a series of workshops from May 15th and last four months.
Social entrepreneur, businesswoman and media personality Jenni Steele, the founder of The YANA Project, said: “In my line of work many young people will be missed, fall under the radar. How do we educate, support, signpost, inspire and motivate them if we don’t know they exist? It’s all about relationships.”
This initial series of workshops will be focused on girls and young women. The sessions will aim to provide a space for girls and young women to openly discuss all of the issues that they are challenged with.
The workshops will take place once a month in a school in Lambeth from May through to July. Steele will host the sessions and provide support, guidance and mentoring. Various female role models will also meet with the young participants and cover a range of relevant topics.
In a statement, the organisers said: “The four-month-long initiative aims to enhance inspiration, encourage aspirational thinking and build confidence within the young people taking part and ultimately it will create positive change for the future.
“Creating safe space environments within the school and providing young people with social and emotional security builds strong foundations of self-worth that can last a lifetime.”
A separate event organised in partnership with Juvenis called Brunch Brothers will also take place, giving boys the opportunity to have supportive conversations and to share their experiences and concerns.
The Yana Project aims to work with young people from diverse backgrounds who have directly been affected by gang-related violence, sexual grooming, exploitation, domestic violence and abuse.