At one community event a young Angolan asked the panel; I would like to know from the Panel what is the future for us Angolan youth in the UK? He was not given a correct answer. For me He was absolutely right in asking that question. There are 100 of 100 young people in our community who do not know what to do. Some of them have finished school, other dropped at school or left care/social services.
The majority of our young people came to the UK as unaccompanied minors. They have no parents nor role models nor even an elderly who can direct them and advice them what to do what directions to take. As result most young people end up joining gangs, selling drugs, committing burglary and other petty crimes. If you ask a young person why did you join the Gang They will tell you that I did not have anything to do, I have no-one to direct me. Again they are right because in our community we do not care about their future.
As result of these, they end up in Prison,. Some have even committed murder, yes murder and other imprisoned for other offences such as; drugs, burglary. If I look at these young people I feel sad, disappointed and sorry for them. They are still young a have a lot of opportunities ahead of them and a bright future as well. If they had a mentor who could guide them, they would not have committed such crime. Therefore something needs to be done if you want to preserve the future of our children and prevent imprisoment and murders. No-one else can do it for us. Not even our embassies or the British Authorities. If you leave it as it is we are going to let our children down an tomorrow we will regret it. Here we have two tasks the first is to prevent the ones who have not committed crime yet and not joined any gang. The second task is to re-educate, help those who have already committed crime not to re-offend.
We cannot ignore and exempt them they need help and belong to our communities. This applies not only to Angolan youth but also to other PALOP Youths. That is why the Welwitschia Legal Advice Centre under its Youth Project(Welwitschia Juventude Angolana) will be organising Youth Forum. Everyone’s opinion, proposals and ideas counts we desperately need role models who can act as advisers and mentors to come forward. I know that we have a quite a few young people who had made in the UK. Young people who have taken the UK’s educational opportunities. Likewise we have adult who can help. It is not too late.