I suspect everyone in the UK has been touched by the tragic fire at Grenville Tower in London and my heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones in this incident.  Amidst the stories of the heroism of the London Fire Brigade and of those local residents that rallied round or rescued people my heart was lifted by the article on the BBC and in some of the London papers today about the the young people who have formed together to support the relief efforts and to give their time to support people who are suffering.  At a time like this, it is human nature to want to help, but it is heroism to actually do so and so my respect for those young people who just got involved is immense.  

Should we be surprised, however, that Young People were leading the efforts to make the situation better.  We at IARS would argue no!  Our 99% campaign was built around the thesis that over 99% of young people are good and active citizens who are civically minded and want to make their society better.  We saw that in the elections, with record numbers of 18-25 year olds having a say and we saw it in the aftermath of the attacks on London and Manchester where young people played their part in helping people in need.  That's why we have our 99% Campaign and why we are always looking for more young people to join us.  

The 99% Campaign is a youth-led initiative and digital participation programme aiming to make society more inclusive, fair and responsive to young people’s views and realities. It achieves its mission by giving direct voice to the most marginalised young people and by dispelling negative stereotypes.  It sets out to: 

  1.  “Disadvantage thinking” about young people is addressed and positive stories are promoted.
  2.  Discrimination, negative perceptions and stereotypes about young people are tackled within  society, political institutions and service providers.
  3.  New youth opportunities are created while current opportunities are highlighted and enhanced.
  4. 99% Campaigners receive high quality volunteering and internship opportunities, and through training, mentoring, accreditation and support they become role models and leaders within their communities

And is driven by Young people including the 1%!

Objective: To give them a chance; inspire them; help them feel they are given more respect; act as “one-stop-shop” for information on civic engagement activities; reward and make them employable

How? Using online and face to face training content we will enable hundreds of young people to gain skills in research and campaigning, presenting their own experiences and those of further thousands of their peers to key public figures via a combination of media.

Ultimate goal: To bring change from the bottom up!

 

It's well worth having a look at the website to see the inspiring articles that have been produced and seeing how you can get involved.  Have a look at http://www.99percentcampaign.org