Re-shape the world

15 May 2012


People are forever asking me what I do, what youth work is and how we at Urban Hope go about it. Normally I can answer fairly confidently but every so often, particularly after a week that's gone a bit wrong, I get myself into a state trying to answer. It's then that I go away and have a think about what it is we do, which normally ends in a discussion at Urban Hope HQ.

This week the answer we arrived at was 're-shape the world'. 

At Urban Hope we look at our community and dare to imagine it could be whole, healthy and peaceful, and then we go about re-shaping our reality so that it can be.   

We imagine a world where the girl who wants to be a doctor but doesn't believe it's possible, does, and then we tell her we believe in her, provide her with a space to revise in and find someone to give her sound career advice.

We imagine a world where the local park is safe for young people and their families, and then we write letters, make phone calls and host meetings until the families we work with are happy to spend a day enjoying each other in it. 

We imagine a world where the boy who thinks dealing drugs is his only option- doesn't, and then we  tell him we believe in him, teach him to cook, show him how to fix his bike, take him to the countryside and help him to imagine a future with many options.

Little by little we change the shape of the world we inhabit, and we encourage young people to do the same, by inviting them to imagine, through art, music and discussion, and sometimes we even imagine on their behalf- And then, we re-shape the world.

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