London 2 LA; Gang intervention documentary.

The process of going on this trip was one month in planning.  The consequences workshop is project that uses different techniques to get young people involved in positive activities. We use critical thinking methods to get young people thinking. Within our workshop we discuss the effects of youth violence and gang culture.  The plan now was to see if we can research on world most known areas for gangs and to find as much information as possible to help us in our workshops.  The young people did research and came to the conclusion that Los Angeles was the gang capital of the world and some of their deep rooted problem are taking effect in London today.  We all came back together and analysed what we had all found individually, we all had a chance to present to the group, about the main issues they were facing in LA and most importantly getting information on the gang intervention programs . The results of the research were in and everybody had an interest in the LA programs, this is when the inception for going to LA to do a documentary  in comparing the differences and to find out what we can learn from them.  It was now time to put a bid in for funding to see if we would get the opportunity to make this happen, which would create a new opportunity to work with young people abroad.

We all saw an opportunity to go on a trip and make a good documentary. When the approval for the trip came, the next stage was to pick who would go on the trip.  This was a fair and easy process because we decided that 1 young person from each Crib project across Hackney will get an opportunity to go.  The one person was decided by who had participated the most in all the workshops even before the idea for the trip was ever mentioned, This seemed like a fair way to do it and the young people were happy with it.  This also allowed us to bring together young people that have never worked together before, either due to gang violence in their areas, but this was an opportunity for them to mix and create something worthwhile

When the final four young people were confirmed, we now had to start planning for the trip. I would call a meeting with them once a week to discuss plan.  We divided up the task, some were in charge of calling youth organisation to see if they could accommodate us, while other looked into the visa process of travelling to the States.  We had a budget of £5000 which we had to spend wisely, this was for travel, food, and accommodation. We all worked on a budget together, everyone was assigned something to do i.e. checking flight prices, accommodation prices , car rental prices, equipment for filming.  The budget was drawn up and was always monitored at every step to make sure we were still within our budget.

We had to do several risk assessment to make sure that the trip would be as safe as possible. One of the things which we had on the risk assessment was that we could not interview anyone that was not part of an organisation we have contact with. We would always have a youth worker with us when in dangerous areas.  We all sat down to brainstorm what risk we could have, when we found these out, we now had to minimise the risk or figure out how to eliminate that risk. This process was long but effective and had to be done.

When the trip was over, they young people had to keep a diary of their trip and their experiences. All of them learnt something from the trip, they learnt to appreciate things a bit more. They saw many people’s struggles and comparing that to what happens in London made them realise their potential.  This trip made them want to spread the message of positivity even more, to help shape and guide their peer from any forms of negativity that could disrupt their lives. The confidence they gained from asking questions, interviewing people, interacting with people that they never would have met before, this has now transpired to their lives here as they are all using these new skills to make a positive impact here in London. The journey of the trip and the life experience is not something that they will forget and they are really grateful to have the opportunity to go and make something positive that they can be proud of.

by Emeka

To buy the DVD use the link below;


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