Thursday, 17 June 2010

Stories behind the Manifesto

We understand that violence is a public health issue linked to the growing levels of inequality in our society. As a result we know that it cannot be adequately dealt with through policing alone. We want communities and the public sector to come together to support initiatives which will help to ensure a long term reduction of all forms of violence.

From Ruchazie to Malawi

I can't walk round the corner without going into someone's territory, and if you go into that territory, then you're going to get chased out. Unlike when we got the chance to visit Malawi through the Church, it's totally different there. When you go out there you can walk for miles, and no-one will say anything to you, nothing at all. And if people do see you, they'll come over and shake your hand and be nice to you. And that was a really big shock, and it's really opened my eyes.
In Ruchazie when you walk by, people put their heads down. Whereas in Malawi they came over and shook you by the hand and were dead happy, in Ruchazie they're scared. They put their heads down and try not to look at you. Just ignore each other basically, as if you're not there. There are plenty of places here in Ruchazie where we just can't go. I've got family in Ruchazie, and I can't even walk to where they live because of not so much fear, but common sense. Cause if you walk up there, and it's the wrong crowd, I wouldn't even like to say what would happen. It's quite scary. I mean, people have actually been killed through this, and other people have been injured. It really takes it out of people, really knocks their confidence.
It's not just with boys; it's with girls as well. There’s girl gangs that fight as well. It's bad for everyone. Even grown men, women, grans and grandas fighting.
It's really intimidating when you walk by and they all stop talking and look at you and you've got your head down. It's not a nice place to be.
In Malawi it made me feel really happy and full of confidence when all those people were shaking my hand. But it also made me feel really bad for where I stay cause I was there for a few days and was walking for miles, and I've been living in Glasgow all my life, and can't even walk 500 yards to see my family. It could cost me my life to go and see my family.
The people from Malawi came over to visit us in Ruchazie as well. They really have got nothing and they came over here and made the most of everything. It
really makes me think to myself - why can I not do that? Anything they get they're grateful for.
I want to go and make the most of my life now. I think I've learned more from them than they have from us. Even though, we may have the latest technology and the best education, but they've taught us much more than we taught them. Just shows you that money's not everything. I've realised that life isn't all about money and possessions. They have inspired me to get on with making a difference where I am, and to encourage others to do the same.

William Barrowcliffe

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