Youth projects in Jersey are being encouraged to explore different cultures as part of Youth Work Week from 5th to 11th November to attract more young people and volunteers from the Island’s ethnic communities.
The Youth Service is adopting the theme of ‘Connecting Cultures’ for the week and is hoping to reach out to members of the Portuguese, Polish and other communities that do not use the service as much.
Among the events being planned is an anti-racism song-writing competition at La Motte Street and a talk at the First Tower Project by a youth worker who is from Latvia and her son, who has become a young worker volunteer. The Move On Café at La Motte Street and Grands Vaux Youth Centre will be running their youth work sessions with a multi-cultural theme, including food from various places around the world.
Assistant Youth Officer Sandra Winnie explained: “The majority of our young people and volunteers are English speaking and from Jersey or the UK. While we do have some participants from different backgrounds we would like to appeal to more.
“It is our experience that many Portuguese teenagers tend to socialise in their own communities outside of school and that there a relatively few Polish teenagers because the Polish community in Jersey is younger and their children are not yet teenagers. There are great social and educational benefits of mixing with different groups so we want to explore how we can achieve this. As part of the Connecting Cultures week we hope youth projects will hold events to explore the music, culture, food and art of different nationalities.’
During the week the Youth Service will have a stall on the corner of Halkett Sreet and Bath Street in Town from 3.30pm to 5pm (Monday – Thursday) to provide information to young people and potential volunteers.
Deputy Rod Bryans, ESC Assistant Minister with responsibility for the youth service said: “Jersey is a cosmopolitan society and we should do all we can to embrace the notion of a moral community. It starts with young people getting together and realising they have common interests no matter where they come from. The Youth Service is a great place to make these things happen.”