Youth Learning Network
A community based voluntary & charitable educational, heritage & youth development services providing organisation for children, young people and parents.
The organisation has adopted SANKOFA as its Logo – The African Bird with its head turned backwards which symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated.
“OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER.”
YLN is an independent organisation established to meet the educational needs of children and young people from African backgrounds in South London as well as undertaking activities that help to facilitate and empower parents.
The organisation started with – The Youth Dialogue Project which was funded by UnLtd’s Refugee Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs. The Youth Dialogue Project focused on youth solutions to issues commonly faced by young people with the aim of creating a safer, stronger and more inclusive community, as outlined in the Home Office Charter for Communities.
The organisation became a Social Enterprise – Company Limited by Guarantee, Registration Number 6484203 with a Company Secretary and Directors in January 2008 and in May 2011 acquired a Charitable Status with Registration Number 1141917 dedicated to engaging and challenging the negative behaviour and attitude among African and Caribbean children and young people. The Network provides support to Parents and the Communities in areas of raising educational awareness and standards that allow them to play active roles in schools and school work, act as a focal point for the spread of new ideas in the field of parental involvement and a voice on how schools are organised and run.
Our Aims & Objectives
The main aims of the YLN are;
- raise educational standards and encourage good discipline and behaviour
- deliver comprehensive support for children and young people with SEND and other physical disabilities
- Look at ways to encourage the concept of learning in young people (seeing the benefit of learning is a reason why some children don’t learn within school). – We encourage children in a way the national curriculum doesn’t support since our approach is more holistic and places emphasis on their overall development.
- Provide a conducive environment for learning since our project fills the gaps that some children find is missing for them at school – i.e. supplementary learning.
- Foster harmonious relations among communities.
The main activities of the YLN are;
- To provide a comprehensive supplementary/complimentary Saturday School support for children and young people throughout the year in English, Maths, Science, ICT, African History at the Goose Green and the East Dulwich Community Centres for 3 hours every Saturday
- create parents forums to debate and discuss educational matters once every two months
- undertake visits to historical places of learning both in the UK and abroad
- homework club support to children and young people
- support parents with exclusions, advocacy and appeals in their children education provisions through some practical support provisions with our teachers, and other staffs, professionals and by signposting
- undertake motivational activities to help develop “CAN DO” approach to learning and education by inviting educational professional who designs and delivers special motivational programmes, self-experiences and the use of other role models
- encourage parents to be involved in their children’s education through networking with schools, help parents to take an active part in school works and projects like PTA and fundraising events
- support children in understanding how and where they fit into society at large (e.g. trips to Ghana and USA, trips to museums and other cultural institutions of learning which we describes as Diversionary Activities) for instance, in July 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2013, we took part in a two weeks educational trip to Ghana in West Africa which were all British Airways sponsored projects with over 75 young people in totals alongside 10 young people visiting the USA as part of inspiring our young people to develop the sense of Enterprise and Business Development. (There are plans to organise further educational trips to Ghana, the Republic of Benin, Uganda, Jamaica etc in future).
- support African learning programmes with emphasis on the role of Africans in the development of the world.
- undertake social enterprise projects with a charitable organisation – MyBank twice every year with more emphasis on the value of “Money”.
- provide residential workshop programmes as part of our youth development programmes – `Youth Ambassador’s Project’ where we train and encourage young students as volunteers for their communities.
- help young people achieve their educational potential and to promote learning for the continued development of their individual capabilities, skills and understanding in subjects of educational, cultural or economic value; through projects like “The Route 2 Success” where children and young people learn with their parents and encouraged to develop business aspirations.