When we invited spoken word artist Benna to create a poem for We Rise we had no idea it would be so moving. Benna worked with young people as they prepared their stories, gently encouraging them to find the words to express what they wanted to say.
He understands the lives of young people growing up in Lambeth because he was one of them. He listened to their experiences and captured what he heard in this wonderful poem.
Here’s an edited version of what he wrote for us:
It takes: a village to raise a child,
one person to see a frown and reshape their smile,
It’s up to us to give them the tools to make us proud
It’s strange how the personality comes together,
it helps shape the person you become forever
In an entrepreneurial world, there’s a reason
the young don’t see them-selves in Uni
But what makes them unique?
The life skills acquired from dysfunctional and violent places
Imagine going through puberty,
having to be the adult when parents are working
imagine seeing friends get stabbed and feeling fear interfere
with future aspirations
but maintaining the will to thrive,
No matter the situation We Rise encourages them to live in gear
by supporting their drive
We live to see our young people gain confidence
If we don’t set them up for a bright future who will?
We see the potential in which the youth show
Even if they don’t see it yet, we know its true so
We make it our business to build their ambitions,
giving them skills to transition
into a job they deserve and then
we feed and nurture the best version of them.
Watch this video to hear Benna perform his poem at our Futures Graduation event in January.
(He begins at 3.15).
Please help us change more young lives by donating to our Crowdfunding Campaign.