"In our current cultural models, young people from deprived inner city areas are cast as the ones ‘needing our help’, rather than being the ones charged with the transformation of their communities. Giving ‘agency’ to young people, and working with them to turn their ideas into sustainable social enterprises, is exactly what this programme sets out to do"
The first time I heard about the Agency I was drawn to the project, its ethos, its approach, the possibilities a project like this could create for young people and hoped that one day I would be able to work either on the Agency or develop a similar project and here I am, four years later, three months into the post.
The Agency is a creative approach to developing social entrepreneurs for the future, shaping their own business ideas. The approach of The Agency is to focus on the young people’s hopes and desires and puts the young person in the lead. Each young Agent sets their own path and defines the idea they want to develop through the programme.
The Agency is inspired by Agência de Redes para a Juventude, which was created by Marcus Faustini and took place in Rio de Janeiro. Five years ago People’s Palace Projects worked with Marcus, Battersea Arts Centre and Contact Theatre to adapt the model for the UK.
Over the next few years myself, Ali Goolyad and Mathilde Lopez will work with young people, aged 15-25 who live in or have connections with the Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown areas of Cardiff, helping them develop their own ideas for social business, using the Agency methodology.
Each young person that takes part will receive £30 per week for the first 12 weeks. Using creative techniques, the young people will be assisted in imagining/developing ideas for social business that will benefit them and their communities. Those ideas will be refined and the young people will pitch their idea to a panel. 3 of the ideas will be awarded £2000 to be developed and tested.
We are recruiting young people between now and late September. If you are a young person or know of a young person who you think would be interested, please ask them to get in touch with me. We are interested in hearing from EVERY young person regardless of interests, experience or skills.
Ask yourself who are three young people who would really engage in a project like this and three that wouldn’t, we want to speak to them all.
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