Let me start off by telling you about my trajectory in life: I grew up in one of the roughest neighbourhoods in America, was shot twice (collarbone and hip), stabbed on the shoulder, incarcerated, and have seen my girlfriend die in my arms from a bullet to the head; I had to make a rapid change. I launched two lucrative companies (Black Lion Entertainment and Kamara Homes).
I then went to college majoring in psychology but graduated as a computer engineer. Wanting to be a hands-on father, I made a transitional move to the UK. And even though not knowing anyone, I went back to school and became a deputy manager working with individuals with learning disabilities. Sadly, my nephew was killed in Somerset New Jersey in September 2019 from a gunshot by another teen.
Throughout my journey, I have seen how youth crimes have been accelerating. Youth crime has at least risen 1.3% over the past year. This may not seem significant, but it is very significant when you consider the fact that 90% of crimes are committed by youth offenders each year. Some of the factors behind the scenes that contribute to these crimes being committed are poverty, peer pressure, and not having individuals and/or support systems in place that are ready, willing and able to educate, strengthen, and guide them towards positive aspects of life.
I wanted to be involved in a project to address this downward spiral. This particular project was launched on 1st February 2020 with the Mayor of Brent and it was televised by Amaze TV all over the world. Each year, thousands of youth offenders are killed, or seriously injured, often causing them to be permanently disabled or going in and out of jail. It is reported that 90% of all crimes are committed by youth offenders.
Therefore, the aim of this programme is to reduce youth crimes, the rotation of the jail doors, and the pain that they inflict on their communities. This plan was sparked and grew from all of the teen crimes that are currently going on around London.
We aim to deliver the following: empowerment, self-motivation, goal setting, accountability, time management, positive mindset, and self-awareness. Our mission is to reduce youth crimes by supporting, encouraging, and having them visualise the pain that they are inflicting on their families and friends, and communities.
This programme has grown from our concern for the communities and the future of our youths and the best way to explain it will be someone that they can relate to them. Someone that had walked their path and can relate to them in different aspects.
Through our communities’ experiences, we have identified a number of problems:
- Lack of local community organisations with the proper knowledge needed for mentoring our troubled youths
- Lack of local awareness organisations with an understanding of the difficulties and implications surrounding our troubled youths
- Pre-existing challenges that are exacerbated by the poor advice that is being given
- Lack of interest due to improper guidance and communication
- Difficulties in accessing support
We believe that these youths still have a bright future and can still become pillars of their communities. We are here to create a pathway for our youths to take in becoming their better self and can one day lead the next generation. We highly value our youths, each and every one of them, so with the commitment of support of the jail system, job centre, probation officers, social workers, community leaders and you – we can make a difference in their lives.
Unisa Kamara is a speaker and a TV presenter. You can connect with him on Twitter at @unisak.
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