Rainmaker Foundation celebrates International Youth Day!
Posted on August 12, 2017 by 0 comments 0 likes
This week we’re celebrating International Youth Day, 12 August. But what does it mean and why does it matter? Today, our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24. That’s the largest generation of youth, ever.
A global snapshot of young people
They make up over 45% of the globe’s entire population, but young people under 25 are disproportionately affected by violence, discrimination and systemic social norms. These limit their potential and jeopardise their future wellbeing.
This year, we selected five charities with a youth focus to undergo the Rainmaker Foundation’s Charity Accelerator programme. Half of our cohort is dedicated to empowering young people. They do this by removing the barriers that restrict them, and re-contextualising how support is designed and accessed.
Large and small, our partners are committed to young people. They’re helping young people create meaningful impact in their own lives, and for their communities.
Supporting mental health in the classrooms
Current statistics in the UK show that 1 in 5 children will be exposed to domestic abuse during childhood. In addition, over a quarter of all children in the UK are living in poverty.
Within a class of 30 children, at least three will have a diagnosable mental health issue. However, teachers do not feel they have the adequate training, skills or knowledge to provide the needed support.
Amy Shocker, Founder of Invincible Me, believes that their greatest impact will be made by working with primary schools. “Teachers and school staff will learn about common mental health and behaviour concerns in children, and will be able to identify and help children who are struggling to learn better at school and, ultimately, to have better chances in life.”
“Invincible Me focuses on early intervention and building resilience in all young children, leading to healthier attitudes later in life. Critically, Invincible Me also supports the children’s workforce, to ensure their own mental health and wellbeing is a priority.”
Transforming care for youth and reducing crime
One in ten children aged 5 to 16 years has a mental health problem and for many this will continue into adulthood.
It’s estimated that 1 in 3 young people that offend, have an unmet mental health need at the time of offence, and that more than half of the young people that end up in custody have experienced the care system. Sinem Cakir, CEO of MAC-UK believes systemic change is needed. “More accessible and flexible, mental health services are needed. Taking mental health ‘to the streets’ or wherever young people are, is our point of difference.”
By working with young people who are in care, at risk of involvement in criminal behaviour or growing up in gang affected areas, they are effecting positive change. Since 2008, MAC-UK projects have supported over 500 excluded young people in London boroughs. Of these young people, 75% have disclosed mental health difficulties.
Breaking down barriers for youth in art
Taking an innovative, participatory approach to the social problems which restrict young people, are key areas for our Charity Accelerator partners. The Multi-Story Orchestra is tackling a different social problem which affects young people’s engagement within art, specifically, classical music.
Ongoing cuts to services and provisions within schools continue to affect resources. Laura Sheldon, Producer at The Multi-Story Orchestra sees a lack of diversity and a particular restriction for young people in this area. “There is a huge discrepancy in access to classical music across the UK, with socio-economically disadvantaged areas experiencing arts deprivation.”
“Our work stems from the belief that classical music has a huge amount to offer people from all backgrounds. Unlike other orchestras, we reach our target audience by creating our own performance environments. We perform in unusual spaces like car parks, and offer inspiring experiences of live orchestral music in familiar, accessible environments. Regularly, we pack our whole Orchestra into a bus to perform in five schools in a day, offering inspirational experiences of live orchestral music. We run Choir Projects, so our participants have tailored pieces, meaning anyone can take part!”
We celebrate the invaluable work of these Charity Accelerator partners. Sadly, 1 in 5 charities face collapse in the coming year, but the Rainmaker Foundation will continue to accelerate the impact of small charities with big potential. With the world’s largest generation of young people, organizations fighting for youth empowerment have never been more critical.