Recently I was lucky enough to be interviewed by a group of 14-16 year old young women. This group are working with Investing In Children (@IiC_Rights on Twitter) to come up with their own aims and objectives prior to developing their research skills to enable to them to conduct research into the development of women’s rights in the North East of England. The project, which has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, sees a group of 14-17 year old young women examine how women’s rights have developed in the North East of England in the last 50 years.
The interview itself took place via Skype where I could see the six interviewers. I was asked lots of questions about my experience and what I’d like to do to help them in their research. I then asked them some questions about how they got involved in the project. Their stories were all different and they all had different questions they sought to find answers to in the course of their research. However, their passion was universal! My overwhelming message to them was that I was there to help them with their project and help them develop the skills they felt they lacked or needed help to improve. I wasn’t there to take over the project.
At the end of the Skype call, I felt enthused and excited by such a passionate group of young women who were looking to learn, expand their own knowledge and report back their findings to other young people as well as the wider community. Ultimately, they wanted to know how the rights of women in the North East of England had developed in the last 50 years, how women were treated previously and how this has changed, the changing conditions for women in prisons, amongst many other areas. Their passion was contagious and I felt extremely privileged to have had a reminder of how capable and amazing our young people can be, when they are given the opportunity to shine.
This privilege extended further when the young women called back to say they’d chosen me to help them undertake their research.
As someone who has worked with young people since I was 16 myself, I relish any opportunity to help them realise their full potential. This is different for every single young person, but each of them has the capability to do whatever they are given the chance to and I genuinely believe that if we empower every young person, they can achieve whatever they want to.
I’ll now work with the young people to help develop their capacity to allow them to undertake the research they want to, organise networking events and interviews so they can ask the questions which will aid them in their research. We are hoping to get a wide range of individuals involved in the process, from academics with a wide range of subject specialities to those who grew up in the North East and have knowledge they’d like to impart. Ultimately, the goal is to help this amazing group of young women enhance their social footprint and make a lasting impact upon the overall body of research done (a) in the North East of England, (b) in the field of women’s rights, (c) by young people themselves.
Passionate, articulate, intelligent and enthusiastic young people – who could ask for more?
Investing in Children seeks to promote the rights of children and young people through research and participation services. It’s reach is extremely wide and the large range of projects they have been involved in can be found on its website: http://investinginchildren.weebly.com