Extreme Need of the Good Life Model for Young People to Avoid Extremists

It is apparent that young people are the target of extremist groups, because they are the most vulnerable and easy to radicalise. During a person’s adolescent and teenage years they are very impressionable to the world around them. The most important thing for most of these adolescents is to find a place to fit in. It is the period of time where they want to be independent but they still have to rely on their parents and the thoughts of their peers; they do not know which way to go. All they want is to think freely, but social and economic pressures make it difficult for them to discover who they are and what they want. Their minds are so malleable that they make the perfect prey for terror groups to spread their ideology. By creating an exclusive subculture, extremists make their targets feel like they are important; their opinions are finally heard and deemed valuable. How can we avoid this? How can we save our youth before they are in trouble? There will never be one definite answer, however, emphasis on the Good Life Model (GLM) in schools and everyday life has great potential to strengthen the minds of the vulnerable and halt radicalisation. The GLM focuses on creating a balanced and well dignified life for not only young people, but all people. However, it is essential that a young person is raised in the values that it upholds so he or she can be confident in their trade and pass on their knowledge. It is human nature to want to succeed in life. There is nothing quite...
Happy of Southwark

Happy of Southwark

  My spirits were lifted this week by the report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report which told us that on average teenagers are happy with life and give life 7.3/10 in a happiness score [BBC].  In the UK the average 15 year old scores happiness at 7/10, which is a positive affirmation in a world which throws so many challenges in their direction.  Far from being grumpy the young people we bump in to around the offices here in Canada Water (Southwark) are mostly happy if occasionally bashful!  Watching the many young people riding their skateboards here in the spring sun is another reminder that 99% of the young people we meet in London are creative and valued members of their community. At IARS our background was in youth work and from this our current project with Southwark Council has bloomed.  Our Southwark Youth Now project sets out to help young people: Feel empowered, self-confident with personal goals and aspirations that will further increase their willingness to continue in formal education or pursue further training/employment preventing them from the risk of becoming NEET’s. Acquired a set of soft skills including communications skills, public speaking, presentation and team work skills that will improve their educational performance in short term and their employability in the long term. The output of the activities will be certified so it will add to their employability. Improved their understanding and knowledge about their rights as citizens at local and national level and their relationship/engagement with local authorities and public and other local bodies eg. Police, Housing Associations etc. Improved their awareness about...
Community-led Project To Boost Employability Of Bame Young Carers In Southwark

Community-led Project To Boost Employability Of Bame Young Carers In Southwark

An innovative community-led project that will boost the employability of hundreds of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young carers in the borough of Southwark is announced today. The project titled “Young Carers Matter” is funded under the Communities Fund of the Department of Communities and Local Government and will be delivered by the IARS International Institute, a Southwark-based charity in partnership with Southwark Council. Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Founder and Director of the IARS International Institute said: “Young Carers is undoubtedly one of the most marginalised groups in our prosperous society. Our youth-led project will provide young carers living in Southwark with accredited training that builds on their strengths and skills, while empowering them to achieve independent and fulfilling lives. Building on strategic alliances of a local network and by allowing our young people to lead, I am confident that “Young Carers Matter” will pave the way national and internationally”. Guided by an Independent Youth Advisory Board consisting of 10 young carers, and through the development of a dynamic local stakeholders’ network, “Young Carers Matter” will bring together local service providers, employment services, employers, key stakeholders from Southwark Council and young carers to develop effective strategies and policies and improve educational and employability outcomes for young carers. Currently, over 2,500 young people who provide care to friends and family live in Southwark and many more that are likely to be invisible to service providers. Due to their caring responsibilities, young carers may compromise their educational and employment opportunities. Service providers involved in the “Young Carers Matter” Network will also be benefited by the project as they will be offered...

IARS Young People’s Response to the Youth Justice System Review

  The IARS Youth Advisory Board, in partnership with the 99% Campaign are pleased to submit a response to the departmental review of the youth justice system for the Ministry of Justice. The review that is led by Charlie Taylor examines evidences on; ·         What works to prevent youth crime and rehabilitate young offenders, and how this is applied in practice; ·         How the youth justice system can most effectively interact with wider services for children and young people; and ·          Whether the current delivery models and governance arrangements remain fit for purpose and achieve value for money. An interim report was published in February 2016 and a final report is expected in September 2016. The IARS Youth Advisory Board, in partnership with the 99% Campaign, has taken the initiative to respond to this open consultation representing the views of young people. Specifically, the response aims to provide insights on the use of restorative justice in the youth justice system and its potential to support prevention, diversion, rehabilitation and reintegration. In the framework of the review the Youth Advisory Board and the 99% Campaign conducted online surveys calling young people to share their experiences of the youth justice system as well as restorative justice. The response also builds on the expertise and previous work of the IARS International Institute in the area of restorative justice. The full response was drafted by the Chair of the Youth Advisory Board Faisal Kassim and can be found...
Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

Press Release: IARS 4th Research and Youth Leadership Awards Winners 2015 Announced

14 Young Role Models and youth projects were recognised for their roles in our communities Around 100 young people, representatives of youth organisations attended this year’s IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards 2015, in partnership with the 99% Campaign that took place last night at the Canada Water Culture Space in London. The Awards, now on its 4th year recognise and champion young people and their initiatives in their communities as drivers for social change. This unique youth-led event, organised by a group of young people involved in the IARS Youth Advisory Board, hosted influential keynote speakers in the field of youth policy and practice, including Howard Williamson CBE FRSA FHEA, Professor of European Youth Policy, University of South Wales, Justin Pettit, Human Rights Officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Mak Chisty, Commander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Mark Parker, I LIVE IN SE16 Coordinator. 14 inspirational young people and projects from up and down the UK were awarded in 7 categories, designed carefully to cover a broad area of truly youth-led projects, skills and competences, supported by leading businesses  and organisations across the UK. The Winners for 2015 are : Youth Research Project Award – Sponsored by Buckinghamshire New University Winner: Eloise Peabody Rolf – The ‘Volunteer’s Perspective’ of the Hampshire Community Peer Court programme Runner Up: Karolina Kombert: Young people, homelessness, UK welfare reform and food poverty in Scotland, published in the Youth Voice Journal. Community Leader Award – Sponsored by  Community Action Southwark Winners: Kike Ibikunle and Ijeoma Datha-Moore for their contributions to the Just for Kids Law team as volunteers and ambassadors. Runner Up: Jack Samuel David Wilson for his exemplar campaigning...
Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June 2015

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June 2015

This week 1st -7th June volunteering is being celebrated across the country.  Volunteers’ Week aims recognise the invaluable contributions of millions of volunteers across the UK and raise awareness of the value and impact of volunteering on our lives and the society. As a genuine youth-led, user led International Institute our volunteers are at the heart of our work and we would like to take this opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU to all our volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to our work and support us on a daily basis to create a fairer and more inclusive society where everyone has a chance to be heard. To celebrate volunteers’ week we share the thoughts and the experiences of our intern Gabe Sanders the last three months at IARS. “When monetary compensation is taken out of the equation in the decision to work at an NGO or community organization, a volunteer’s contribution and return on the time and effort put into his or her work appreciate in value greatly. Focus turns to questions like, “What can I contribute today?” and “What can I learn from this experience?” Volunteering at an NGO like the IARS International Institute evoked just such questions, and answered them in a new way every day during my time working there. That being said, my interview before beginning work at Independent Academic Research Studies did not go as I thought it would; it went far better. After nearly an hour and a half of discussing the NGO’s needs and what I could offer, the Communications Manager  and I arrived at a sort of harmonious understanding that could not...