A HARINGEY YOUTH PUBLICATION
free feb 08
TOY SOLDIERS The young people who play army for real.
VOMIT One partygoer gets it all out.
BULLYING Could it be good for you?
Joey Leskin and Tiwa Odukoya
Exposure is free and open to anyone aged 13 to 19 living in or around Haringey. If you want to get into journalism, design or film-making, get involved: The Bigger Shoe Box, Muswell Hill Centre, Hillfield Park, N10 3QJ Tel: 020 8883 0260 Fax: 020 8883 2906 Mob: 07947 884 282 email@example.com www.exposure.org.uk Regrettably our office is inaccessible to wheelchair users but we will nevertheless make every effort to include your contributions. Postive Images Award for best magazine produced by young people for young people Purple Youth Award for best youth representation website London Electricity Londoner of the Year Award Nationwide Award for Voluntary Endeavour Phillip Lawrence Award Ed & F Man Award for Best London Youth Publication If your organisation wants to get its message across to young people call 020 8883 0260 Miter Press Ltd, Miter House 150 Rosebery Avenue, N17 9SR Tel: 020 8808 9776 is a registered trademark of Exposure Organisation Limited, registered in England no. 3455480, registered charity no. 1073922. The views expressed in Exposure do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. (c) 2007. All rights reserved. ISSN 1362-8585
amanuel chris samantha
Priya Nandkishore, Samantha Benjamin, Siqi Ding, Terry Balson
Carmen Mckenzie, Chris Callegari, Danny Warner, Josh B端y端kyilmaz, Olatunde Olorunesan
Alisha Bartlett, Amanuel Tewodros, Amy Martin, Camila Lopes,
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Andreas Koumi Enrico Tessarin Jon Golds David Warrington Aysha Tegally
Mirella Issaias Flo Codjoe Luke Pantelidou Gary Flavell Nick May
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Exposure aims to give young people an independent voice which can contribute to the democratic process. We apologise for any offence caused by the way young people choose to express themselves. While Exposure has done its best to check material contained within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for inaccurate information provided by outside organisations. Organisations mentioned are not necessarily connected with nor endorsed by Exposure. Permission has been sought, wherever possible, for the use of copyright material. Where contact has not been possible we hope that, as a voluntary organisation helping to educate and inform young people, it is acceptable for Exposure to use such material for the benefit of young people. If this is not the case please let us know and any such copyright material will be removed from future publications with our apologies.
Tottenham Grammar School Foundation
Issue 91 February 2008 Hip hop honeys MySpace, Faceook and hi5 are all fantastic places to meet and mingle with friends, but they have also become a place for young girls to showcase themselves. Scantily dressed women are normal now. We see women wearing next to nothing in music videos, adverts and TV commercials. Now young girls feel that the only way to attract attention is to post pictures of themselves on the internet looking like hip hop honeys. Obviously hip-hop videos make women look like objects instead of people, but also female stars like
Beyonce and The Pussy Cat Dolls who sing about independence and girl power - prance around in their videos wearing barely nothing. They seem to have gained fame because they strut around in sexy outfits, and so it seems the way to become famous is to flaunt your body. But being beautiful is not about showing your entire body to the world wide web. It is far better to keep some things to the imagination anyway.. We must respect our bodies because if you donâ€™t respect yourself, who will?
Tiwa Odukoya on a bit-too-big night out.
Carmen Mackenzie on child soldiers.
In praise of bullying, by Amanuel Tewodros.
You canâ€™t beat Beethoven, says Li Shen. Illustration by Camila Lopes.
How one girl beat homophobic bullying.
Daniela Ribeiro wonders why politicians bother.
Give it up NO SMOKING DAY 12 March 2008 is No Smoking Day, when smokers everywhere will grit their tar-stained teeth and try to escape their little clouds of fag stink. To join the sweet-smelling healthy folks, get your free quit pack and information on your local stop smoking service log on to www.nosmokingday.org.uk or ring the stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.
Give more up 24 HOUR FAMINE Could you go without something important to you for one day, so that others donâ€™t have to? The 24 Hour Famine, on 14-16 March, wants young people in the UK to get sponsored to do just that. The money you raise could help make a life-changing difference to street children in Chennai, India, who live in danger of abuse and exploitation and go without basic needs such as clean water, shelter or regular meals. To get involved in the 24 Hour Famine log onto www.24hourfamine.org.uk or text FAMINE to 81222 or call 01908 841 000
DIARY OF A CHAV: TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL
THE WAY I SEE IT
At the age of eleven Nicole developed a tumour on her spine. She then underwent surgery, which seemed successful until December 2002 when she was told she was terminally ill. With only weeks to live, she deﬁed the doctors and was 18 in February last year. Nicole may be blind and conﬁned to a wheelchair but she goes to college and has written her memoirs. This is the most powerful and emotional book I’ve ever read. Nicole’s story is not only moving and inspiring, but funny and altogether unforgettable.
When I ﬁrst looked at the book I thought I wouldn’t be able to get past the ﬁrst page, but when I opened it, it felt like I’d known the main character, Shiraz Bailey Wood, for a long time. In this, the third book in the Diary of a Chav series, Shiraz is leaving everyone behind and moving to London, and she won’t miss them - she ﬁnds some sort of problem with everyone except best friend Carrie, who’s going with her. Instead of chapters, Grace Dent uses dates like in a diary which engages the reader and makes you feel like you’re exploring a new day in Shiraz’s life. I know it’s being nosy but hey, the book was written for us.
The Büyükyilmaz Reel ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS Alvin and the Chipmunks ﬁrst appeared on TV in 1983, lasting eight seasons until 1990. Now they are back in a whole new way in the latest movie from 20th Century Fox. In a plot that doesn’t sound too different from any of its 107 TV episodes, the chipmunks hit the big time, get a record deal and ruin David’s house. This is a very cute and cuddly movie but unless you’re under 12, I you should probably only see it with a younger relative. Josh Büyükyilmaz
I AM LEGEND Army hero and doctor Robert Neville is the last man left in New York, and maybe even the world. He spends his time with his trusty sidekick Sam the dog, sending unheard messages on all radio frequencies and hunting deer with his car. But is he really alone? This ﬁlm is an adrenalin-pumping post-apocalyptic sci-ﬁ horror and would be even more scary at the IMAX. But I‘m a little worried because I’m going to New York in a couple of days. It’s just a movie. It can’t really happen... can it? JB
A classic Disney fairytale collides with modern day New York City in a story where a fairytale princess is sent to our world by an evil queen. Younger kids will love Enchanted, especially the animation scenes and musical numbers, but teenagers and young adults expect a lot more from Disney: the animation was tacky and missed that Disney magic, and some of the jokes were funny, some were corny and some just didn’t make any sense. Here’s some advice Disney: next time spend more time on things because the ﬁnal result is always worth the extra effort. Terry Balson
SONGBIRD 2008 2 CD Double Album This is the latest all female compilation album to hit the streets. Featuring the voices of Eva Cassidy, All Angels, Nina Simone, Leann Rimes, Amy Winehouse and many more, for fans of classic soul or modern pop - or anyone looking for a no-brain birthday present for a mother, aunt or youthful grandma - this is a must have. Terry Balson
Election special HARINGEY YOUTH COUNCIL ELECTIONS With great power comes great responsibility and so, having been elected as co-leader of the Haringey Youth Council in January, I have to write this. On Wednesday 23 January, the Haringey Youth Council held elections for their new executive team. I was elected as the Female Co-leader; Adam Jogee from Highgate Wood School as Male Co-leader; Nadia El Aabdi, from Hornsey, as Senior Champion; Nali Moftizadeh from Park View Academy as Junior Champion; Justin Hamilton from Highgate Wood as Treasurer; and Juanita Ofosu from the Salvation Army as Secretary. The three Haringey representatives elected to the UK Youth Parliament will also get a place on the Youth Council. Each one of us represents the young people of Haringey and we have a lot of work to do if we want to be as successful as last yearâ€™s Executive. Hopefully we can change the way young people are talked about in the press, and show that young people do care about the community and want to make a difference to the lives of others. Alisha Bartlett
Life of the Tiwa Odukoya sicks up her thoughts about alcohol. Ergh! The puke began to pour out of my mouth like an open tap. I was sweaty. Sick. After a night of careless drinking, my stomach decided it could take no more. I had resorted to alcohol at a party that was a bit on the poor side - there was no dancing or interacting whatsoever. It needed something to spice it up slightly. That something was a large bottle of white Lambrini. Initially I thought it was a great idea to consume two bottles of cheap wine - alcohol made me feel relaxed; it was like my mind was slowly escaping my body and entering a whole new realm of bliss, like I could achieve anything and everything that I wanted to. I didnâ€™t know that my night would end with my face stuck inside a bucket. But this is how a lot of teenagers spend their nights on the weekends: over 5% of 14-15 year-olds and just under 10% of 15-16 year-olds in England drink more than the healthy limits for adults (Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2002).
party They think alcohol will provide instant conﬁdence and invincibility. If only they knew. Drinking excessive amounts can make you feel sick, slur your words and lose your memory; some people can even become teary or rather aggressive; and we are more vulnerable to all types of assault after excessive alcohol intake, unable to help ourselves as alcohol slows down our reaction times dramatically.
certainly no fun “It’s to have to help a
vomiting young girl
And it’s certainly no fun to have to help a vomiting young girl. No matter what anybody says alcohol is an addictive drug.
With prolonged excessive use, you can develop diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, and even a disease called jaundice, which makes parts of your body turn a nasty yellow! So why do people think that it is necessary to resort to alcohol in order to make a party more exciting? What happened to good old socialising? People rely on alcohol to make them more conﬁdent and fun, but isn’t it better to know that you are actually fun and sociable, rather than just funny because you drank too much? Drinking might make you feel more relaxed but it doesn’t mean that it will make you feel better or the party more satisfying. It is the music, the people and the atmosphere that contribute to making a party truly electrifying, and it is far better to enjoy a party sober - that way you will remember it.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory in the directory on p27.
Some children really do need to carry a gun: Carmen Mackenzie on child soldiers. It is easy for us to take for granted our entire lives: our families; the chance to go to school and be almost anything we want to; even basic things like being able to eat, drink and have a place to sleep at night. This might seem like one of those speeches your grandparents give you, but thousands of children don’t have the same lives, options or opportunities as we do. Children living in countries affected by war can be taken away from their homes and families and forced to ﬁght and kill. Imagine being given a gun and told to shoot your best friend because they were trying to escape. Or being told to clear landmines, and if you refused, risk being killed? In the Democratic Republic of Congo an estimated 11,000 children are involved with militias.
In Uganda 1,500 are held in the Lords Resistance Army. In Sri Lanka at least 5,000 children have been recruited since 2001 and in 2005 more than 8,000 children were still ﬁghting in western Africa. In Columbia a quarter of illegal armed forces soldiers are children. Children as young as eight are being recruited as soldiers, and the conditions they are forced to live in are the worst. They don’t get enough food and are exposed to brutality if they make mistakes in the jobs they are given. When they are taken from their homes their families can be killed in front of them. Some are even forced to kill members of their own families to break family ties.
Young girls can be forced to ‘marry’ soldiers that are old enough to be their fathers. Refusal might lead to torture and possibly death. Others are used as sex slaves and if they try to run away they are killed. Girls are also used for ﬁghting just like the boys, for domestic tasks, or for laying and removing explosives.
as young “Children as eight are being
recruited as soldiers
Some of the children join the armed forces out of choice, because they have no other way to survive. Because of war in their countries, economical, social, community, and family structures are destroyed, leaving them no other options. Being a child soldier is a way of survival. Some families even encourage their children to join.
There are many charities that help child soldiers: UNICEF, World Vision International, the Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration Program, American Jewish World Service, Care USA, International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children all try to help child soldiers get back to their communities and live life normally. And the International Criminal Court punishes those found guilty of recruiting children under the age of 15 for acts of war. But the problem continues. A lot of us probably won’t give things like this a second thought, but if we did, the problem would be solved quicker. We could give time to a charity, take part in fund-raising events, or make a donation, and then maybe we’ll start to appreciate what we have.
For more information, and to help make a difference, visit www.child-soldiers.org.
bullying saved my life
Amanuel Tewodros on how being bullied made him a better person. I was bullied for years, mercilessly and endlessly. I forgot what it was like to go to school without someone letting a ﬁre extinguisher off in my face. I was thrown into the school’s unheated plunge pool on a daily basis. I remember one night being dragged out of bed by my brother and told that, because the school would be a better place without me, I would have to be killed. There was a very good reason for all this: I was a very annoying, very spoilt 13year-old prig. I had the capacity to irritate before I’d even said anything.
you’ve spent all day “Ifwith your head down the toilet, you don’t need to wash your hair
Eventually the bullying became so awful I conﬁded in my mother, who said that if everyone was picking on me I must have been doing something wrong. So I changed to be more like other people. I grew my hair, took up smoking and tried my hardest to make everyone laugh. It’s not easy when you’ve got a mouth full of dog dirt, but eventually I succeeded, and the bullying stopped. Every year there are more government initiatives aimed at reducing bullying and its effects, like Anti-Bullying weeks or asking young people across the country to wear green wristbands.
But in the same way that a small ‘Ban the Bomb’ badge wouldn’t protect you from a nuclear ﬁreball, if you turn up at school with a green plastic wristband, it’s not going to stop a bully pushing your head down the toilet.
And there is nothing to wear to show you’re cautiously in favour of bullying. For instance, I would love to put some sand in Arsene Wenger’s lunchbox, and nothing would give me more pleasure than spending an hour or so ﬂicking Tony Blair’s ears. Sure bullying has its bad sides - nobody wants to see a huge penis drawn on their science exercise book - but there are upsides as well: if you’ve spent all day with your head down the toilet, you don’t need to wash your hair that night. And you will be a better, sharper, more invigorated person. And then there’s teasing. I tease people for being too short, or for reading the Guardian. In return people tease me for looking like a human toffee apple, having ‘bubble lips’ and liking Supertramp. I still ﬁnd a friend’s new haircut funny, so I’ll spend the day ribbing him about it. Teasing is a good thing. It sharpens the mind and punctures the ego. Teasing at its best is faster than Chinese ping-pong and funnier than a daydreamer walking into a lamp post. It’s what separates us from the beasts: you never see goats laughing their heads off when one of them falls in the river or gets eaten by a lion. I genuinely believe that were it not for the bullies, I would now be a humourless kid with a stupid haircut and no personality. Bullying saved my life. And it can work for fat kids too. You can ban them from watching crisp advertisements on television, and put health warnings on their cheese, but there’s nothing guaranteed to make them lose weight more than having their hair set on ﬁre, from time to time.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory in the directory on p27.
of bullying How one young person overcame being bullied because of her sexuality. But the weird thing was that this time it It was supposed to be a fresh start, but it became a real life nightmare. I’d moved away from London during the summer and at ﬁrst everything was good: the neighbours were friendly, the kids were cool and the summer was shining. It was a refreshing change from London. My grades were good, I had good friends and my social life was on the up. And that’s when things started going wrong. Though I can’t really explain it, I realised I was bisexual and had been for a long time. In London I’d had feelings for a girl which were stronger than just friendship. I ignored it back then probably because I was young. My mum had advised me to
didn’t hurt me. I left my friends before they had a chance to leave me, distanced myself from the crowd and distanced myself from the hurt. At ﬁrst I tried to deny the rumours about me but it didn’t really matter - not to them and certainly not to me. When you’ve spent most of your life being bullied, you build up a wall around yourself to protect you. You stop trying to defend yourself against the rumours and you generally just stop caring. Why? Because you have to. If you spend your whole life caring about what other people think of you, you’ll get nowhere.
“One thing they all hate is when you just stop caring” keep my sexuality to myself, but I went public, expecting people just to accept it. They didn’t. People were yelling names at me in the street and throwing eggs at my house. At school people would punch and slap me and just hurl insults. It had a massive effect on me and who I was. I allowed these people to make me feel like crap and believe that I wasn’t natural and that I deserved the punishment. After about a year and a half, my mum placed me into another school. It seemed like an all right place, but in the back of my head a voice told me that one day everyone would turn against me like before. Soon my secret was out and the nightmare started over again: the same old names being called out, the same old punches in the corridor, the same old people, the same old story.
One of the things that got me through the toughest days was thinking that I must have been really important for them to go after me - bullies obviously have nothing better to do than make your life hell because their own lives are so boring.
And one thing they all hate is when you just stop caring, because it means you’re over them and what they are about. I did sometimes think about ending it all but what would be the point in that? They’d be winning and I’d be ruining a lot more lives than my own. Just because bullies make you feel worthless doesn’t mean it’s true. Don’t let other people and what they think of you get you down. Cling on to your hopes and dreams, and eventually you’ll make them come true.
For advice on this or any other issue see the list of local services in the directory in the directory on p27.
GALLERY Send your artwork to: The Bigger Shoe Box, Muswell Hill Centre, HillďŹ eld Park N10 3 QJ Tel: 020 8883 0260, Fax: 020 8883 2906, Mob: 07947 884 282, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Danny Warner
Positive Futures is a structured learning programme that combines education with football coaching supported by Tottenham Hotspur. It can help you develop teamwork, communication skills, commitment and discipline, improve your health and fitness, and play loads of football. Coaching sessions take place at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre and Broadwater Farm, and include a girls-only session. Call Errol Brown on
020 8489 8943, Clasford Stirling on
020 8885 7780 or email
youth.ofďŹ email@example.com for details. You must be 13-19 and register with the Youth Service to take part. Register online at
Horoscope By Amy Martin, Carmen Mackenzie, Chris Callegari and Siqi Ding
Jan. 20 - Feb. 18
\ life is on the up: despite a global downturn in the ﬁnancial markets Your you’re about to have some luck ﬁnding a job.
Feb. 19 - Mar. 20
You are approaching a huge turning point in your life. Everything is going to change, but it doesn’t mean you have to.
Mar.21 - Apr. 20
Your love life is about to spiral out of control, so dump your partner and stay away from anyone new.
Apr. 21 - May 22
You’ve been very busy recently and you’re almost worn out. Make some me time for yourself.
Images by Camila Lopes, Janos Papp, Tony Randall, Llewellyn Harrigan and Orlando McKenzie
May 23 - Jun. 23
Life is not just a game. Wake up! You really need to try your best and your talents will be discovered soon.
Jun. 24 - Jul. 23
The ﬁnancial area of your life is about to improve, but be careful, don’t spend it all too quickly.
Jul. 24 - Aug. 23 You’re kind of wired! People might think you’re crazy but never mind. Relax and enjoy yourself, that’s the point!
Aug. 24 - Sep. 22
You don’t need to change yourself that much. You’re outgoing, cheerful and lucky. Smile everyday and you will be surprised.
Sep. 23 - Oct. 23
Life hasn’t been good recently, but stop thinking about how you want it to be, look at what it is. It will get better soon.
Oct. 24 - Nov. 22
Unless you work to make your dreams come true, your plans will just be ﬂights of fancy.
Nov. 23 - Dec. 21
You’ve been going out and treating your friends, but no one ever became poor by giving, only by spending too much.
Dec. 22 - Jan. 19
Conﬁdence is really needed. Don’t worry about your decisions: the correct choice will always be the ﬁrst.
teenage Could you name ﬁve classical composers? Li Shen asks why not.
In a recent UK poll only 12% of young people aged 14 to 26 could name ﬁve or more classical composers. So for the rest, is classical music just an old people’s hobby? Most secondary school kids see classical music as ‘uncool’ and ﬁll their ears with ‘cool’ genres like rock, pop, R&B, or rap. A perfect example of this is the instruments list in my school: electric guitars and drum kits are so popular there is a long waiting list for the lessons, while instruments like the violin and cello attract, out of a school of 1,100 kids, a total of three people.
music is an “Classical emotional journey, a dialogue between voices
Being able to play an instrument like the violin is not just about playing music: you can communicate with a broader range of people, gain self esteem and generally enjoy yourself, and as a side effect of doing something not many people can do, you can impress people. It’s more rewarding when you put more effort into it - something that young people are often not doing enough of. What is stopping young people from learning instruments are computer games and modern entertainment the endless excuse of being busy when in fact they are wasting their time on useless cyber junk. Not that people shouldn’t play games at all, but sometimes it occupies too much time that could be spent elsewhere.
ears In most secondary schools, classical music is often the most neglected subject, with most music lessons being a time for social catch up with something about treble clefs in the background. There are exceptions, and a few brilliant music teachers, but they remain exceptions. It is no wonder that orchestral instruments such as the oboe, French horn and timpani are endangered: we just don’t like them. Young people often say they don’t want to try and have a go at classical music because it’s boring. But classical music goes further than the so-called ‘boring’ tunes. Unlike modern songs, each piece of classical music is an emotional journey, a dialogue between voices that make you reﬂect upon your own life. While it’s true that classical tunes don’t have amazing drum solos, repetitive electric guitar chords, or for that matter, the white noise that some modern music possesses, there are other things to consider. There was a surge of interest in Mozart in the late 1990s when a research study found that babies who listened to classical music scored higher in various tests. Suddenly, millions of houses were ﬁlled with the music of Mozart. Some states in the US even made it compulsory for parents to play classical music to their infants. You never know what you might like, so why not give classical music a go? Five classical composers you could start with are Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bach and, for something you probably like already, John Williams.
y n o A
by Amanuel Tewodros, Joey Leskin, Olatunde Olorunesan and Samantha Benjamin
I am currently in a relationship that’s gone pearshaped. My girlfriend tells me she loves me but whenever I call her to try and meet up, she brings up ridiculous excuses. But at the same time, she says she wants a sexual relationship - she is one year older than me. What am I supposed to do? It seems she is pulling you along by the string. My suggestion is to stop calling her and see if she calls you for once. Put the ball in her court and ﬁnd out whether she really loves you or is just after some humptydumpty. And never be pressured into sex - if she really likes you, she’ll understand.
I am afraid that my boyfriend is cheating on me with my best friend and I don’t know what to do. They’ve both been really distant with me lately, making up excuses not to see me and just acting really strange. I looked through his phone and he’d deleted all his texts. Why would he do that unless he had something to hide? And last time I called him I was sure I could hear my friend giggling in the background. I keep trying to catch them at it, but so far, I can’t. So are you being paranoid or are they really behaving like almost everyone in Hollyoaks? It’s a tough coconut to crack, but in a situation like this you have to go with your instinct. But maybe they’re acting funny and trying to avoid you because your instincts are turning you into a psychotic whacko? Calm down before you start bugging their bedrooms, and talk to them straight.
I’m 16 years old and having a problem with someone at school. He started bullying me so I told my friends. They all got together, went up to the boy and told him if he troubles me again they’ll all come after him. But when I saw the boy again, he punched me in the stomach and told me they’d have all my friends easy so I better shut up. I shouldn’t have said anything Talking to someone is the ﬁrst thing you should do if you’re being bullied. Since it’s happening at school, why not talk to a teacher, or if there is one, the police ofﬁcer assigned to your school. Many people also become successful comedians as a way of dealing with bullies. But don’t stick your nose in a beehive or you’ll get more than a nostril full of honey: if you’re going to ask your friends to scare off a bully, make sure they’re hard.
For a while now I have been worried about the way I look. I can’t help but look in mirrors and shop windows to see my reﬂection, and I know it doesn’t lie. Nobody has commented out loud but I can tell what everyone thinks when they look at me: I am simply too good looking. I can’t stand it any longer. Should I get plastic surgery to sink myself down to everyone else’s level? Or should I just go into hiding in a cave to avoid further embarrassment? Please help. Clearly you have some self-esteem issues. Anyone as vain and egotistical as you surely has severe and deep-rooted insecurities, and trying to hide behind your supposed good looks will only make your inevitable breakdown that much worse. Get help, quick, and in the meantime, can I have your number?
Young people aren’t interested in politics, says Daniela Ribeiro, so why don’t politicians just shut up? Politics is so boring. It’s the way politicians come across as old, ugly people. If you turn on the TV and see them in the Houses of Parliament, and they’re jumping about wagging their ﬁngers, it’s so boring. They talk and they expect everyone to understand the way they speak, and think everyone reads the boring newspapers where all the information is. But people read the tabloids, and some people haven’t even been to school.
say ‘I’m normal, “They just like you’. Yeah, right ” 24
If more young people were involved you might think ok, they’re my age, maybe I can get interested. But they’re all granddads and the way they come across makes politics seem so dull.
Of course we ought to know what is happening in the world we live in, and what politics is about, why it exists, who is involved, and what you get out of it. Politics is there to make a change. It’s where decisions are made. If you know about politics then you know why those decisions are made, and maybe you can get involved and make a change yourself. So we need to be taught about politics, but not all the boring bits. You have to be really smart to be involved in politics. In my school we get taken to the Ministry of Justice once a year. We go there and meet MPs and you can’t understand a word they are saying. They’re just really intelligent people who all talk like ‘Ohh, hellooo...’ - they’re all English and posh. There are no normal people who are just relaxed
in normal clothes. They talk to you like you’re stupid but they talk rubbish: they say ‘I’m normal, just like you’. OK. What do you do in your spare time? ‘Play golf.’ Yeah, right. They say ‘your views have to be heard so we can make a change’, but I went there last year and nothing has changed.
If young people are given the chance to get involved in decision making, then maybe they will develop a bigger interest in politics. After all, most people don’t even bother voting, and of those that do, how many know who they’re voting for or what difference it will make? Why should young people be any different?
Raging with anger that’s how she feels Unappreciated and lost her face reveals. Not wanting to open up but runaway Now she was sure it was going to be today. Insecure, hurt and terrified. Nothing was going to change, she wanted to hide. Gathering her things in a small pink bag. Angry and frustrated she felt like a slag! Walking towards the front door, she felt a tear drop. Away she ran and didn’t once stop, Young, beautiful and smart, She didn’t once think of what could happen in the dark. Daniela Ribeiro
Directory Muswell Hill Centre, Muswell Hill 020 8883 5855 10 Bruce Grove, Tottenham 020 3224 1089
For black African and African-Caribbean young people 9 Bruce Grove, Tottenham 020 8365 9537 www.antennaoutreach.co.uk
White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre 020 8489 8942
Advice and support for young people White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre 020 8489 8944
Structured sport-based programme Broadwater Community Centre, Tottenham 07870 15 7612
General mental health care 312 High Road, Tottenham 020 8885 8160
Structured youth project 93 St Ann’s Road, Tottenham 020 8802 1955
Tackling the link between mental health and crime Tottenham Town Hall 07986 708 461 or 07779 098 269 www.revolving-doors.co.uk
Young people’s sexual health services including dedicated clinic, drop-in sessions and the 4YP bus www.4yp.co.uk 0800 1613 715
Working for victims of crime 020 8888 9878 www.vslondon.org
Course in Wood Green for teenage mums 122-124 High Road, Wood Green 020 8889 0022
Shelter’s free housing advice line 0808 800 4444
Confidential information and support for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people www.outzone.org
Programme of personal development 020 8826 9393 national volunteering programme www2.btcv.org.uk
Inclusive services for disabled and non-disabled young people Markfield Road, Tottenham 020 8800 4134
Employment scheme 122-124 High Road, Wood Green 020 8889 0022
For young people with drug or alcohol issues 40 Bromley Road, Tottenham 020 8493 8525
Helping young people into employment 1 Ashley Road, Tottenham Hale 0871 200 2321
For the families of people with drug or alcohol issues 0800 38905257
Careers advice 560 High Road, Tottenham 020 8808 0333
For people experiencing domestic violence 10 Commerce Road, Wood Green 020 888 5362
Preparing young people with learning difficulties or disabilities for work 55a Cholmeley Park, Highgate www.harington.org.uk One-stop shop for young people 2nd Floor, Wood Green Library 020 8881 7050 www.thejunctionharingey.co.uk
Friends can be bullies too.
School tomorrow. I’ll meet my mate, Gary, on the bus in the morning. Gary sometimes makes fun of me in front of other people, but he doesn’t mean it - he’s my mate. Once we were at lunch and I told him about a girl I liked. He laughed and called me a mug. He’s a mate though. Last week I was late meeting him after football training. He hit me in the face and my eye swelled up; I cried on the way home. What can I do? He’s a mate.
Just because somebody appears to be your friend doesn’t mean they’re not a bully. Talk to someone you trust or visit one of the websites below.
www.bullying.co.uk www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying www.beatbullying.org Produced by young people at
020 8883 0260