SUPPORT THE PROJECT INSPIRED by 'Sankofa'
Bringing young and old together for a better society
Discussions Across Generations (DAG) builds the confidence of the young by drawing on the experiences of the old.
Thank U Charity is a grassroots CIO, led by women of African/Caribbean Heritage, and rooted in the Black community we serve. We create innovative solutions for the welfare & education of our young and older people, to aid community cohesion and benefit all of society.
Our commitment is to relieve poverty, by inspiring young people to achieve their full potential through literary skills and culturally based activities. Drawing inspiration from the African proverb ‘Sankofa,’ our intergenerational activities help young people to learn from their elders and the past, to build a better future.
We achieve this through Discussions Across Generations (DAG) which is a peer to peer project that gives young people the unique opportunity of working on a new and exciting project that builds their confidence. They discover their voice and build on their talents, for potential income generation.
Indeed, the voiceover for this crowdfunding video was done by Tanika, our 27-year-old DAG alumni. Tanika is now a budding Actor and volunteers on the DAG Project, as a Coordinator.
The Situation - Why there is a need for the DAG Project
Racism has resulted in many young people of African or Caribbean heritage living in the UK, losing their sense of belonging, confidence and purpose. Many feel unable to progress. As a result, the low self-worth they feel, leads to them to:
- Seek a sense of belonging by joining groups on the margins of society
- Drift into the criminal justice system
- Fall victim to knife crime
We believe fostering a stronger understanding of their history, shapes and strengthens the actions young people take, helping them become more confident, giving them a true sense of how they fit into and can make a valuable contribution to British society.
And who better to give them a sense of that history, than elders from their community.
Sadly, many of the elderly from the African and Caribbean community, have been severely affected by Covid-19 and are shielding. They are finding the isolation, loneliness, and its risk to their mental health, unbearable. The DAG project offers great support to them, too.
HOW DAG BRINGS ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE
DAG’s focus is on helping 18-35-year-olds, including (disabled and LGBTQ) by putting them in touch with African and Caribbean unsung heroes aged 65 and over.
Working in clusters of 5 volunteers, the 4 young people of mixed ability in each DAG team, interview the elder (DAG-Legend) who provides advice and mentoring, that inspire the young team members, with their inspirational experiences, which include joint visits to places of historical relevance.
DAG-Youth document and record their conversations, interactions, learnings and all the contemporary history that is revealed. Then they share it through mediums they enjoy like:
- Spoken word
- Photography and videos
- Books and eBooks
DAG-Youth then spread the knowledge gained to their peers and wider community, via digital media channels which include:
- Social media posts and content
This enables DAG to reach and have a positive impact on thousands of young people across London with powerful, life-transforming messages and lessons.
“What relevance can these rickety old people have to my life?”
19-year-old Sameera’s reaction to being asked to interview an elderly Caribbean couple as part of a DAG project is typical. Her life situation mirrored that of many others too. She had no sense of belonging, anywhere. She had spent all her life in care, deprived of parental guidance because her parents were experiencing issues with drug addiction and mental health.
But eventually, she agreed to do the interview.
And what a transformation!
Afterwards, we could not get her away from the couple. She was amazed by how much they’d taught her that was relevant to her life and history. She wanted to go back and talk to them again and did so! The couple made such an impact on her, they became her mentors. And empowered by what she’d learned from them in particular, and the DAG project in general, she gained the confidence to go to college where she studied social work. Now Sameera is helping children like herself.
BENEFITS OF THE DAG PROJECT
The following are the benefits we have seen from our DAG project so far:
Young People Learn and are Positively Influenced by Their Elders
And then the young people learn from and are positively influenced by each other.
Young people’s employability increases
We offer training in digital marketing, and interpersonal abilities that provide learning skills for young people’s productive future income potential.
Award Ceremony boosting Young people’s confidence
Each annual DAG project ends with an awards ceremony organized by the DAG-Youth, who use the skills learned during the project, to promote the event and sell tickets to the wider community. The DAG-Youth present an award to the DAG-Legends to mark the contribution they’ve made towards helping the next generation of young people of African and Caribbean descent, to live purposefully and peacefully in London and the UK.
Young people’s positive contribution to society continues after the project
“Each one, teach one”
As well as giving young people the confidence to contribute positively to society, at the end of each project, 10 of the young DAG participants are invited to become mentors for the next DAG project, passing their learnings and inspiration onto a new group of young people.
Young people are challenged to do better
Inter-generational dialogue reveals the power of valuing the lives of young people, showing them the importance of self-respect and ways to manage anger and de-escalate violence by positively channelling negative energy.
Young people get role models to look up to
The DAG-Legends stand as figures for young people to aspire to and learn from.
Elders are Enriched, Valued, and Enshrined in Contemporary Black History
Elders feel valued
DAG gives potentially lonely, isolated and marginalized elders a chance to share their experiences and knowledge with younger members of their community, who are ready to listen, learn from, acclaim, and celebrate their elders.
Elders also feel connected Via Community & School DAG Sessions
DAG also opens up other interactions within the community that enables young and old to talk to each other more while helping elders overcome social isolation. During every round of the DAG project, our DAG-Youth organize and facilitate Q&A sessions in schools in London for each DAG legend, which is included as a chapter in the books we publish, as contemporary history, for posterity. Parents and staff are invited to join the school children to talk about race issues in a culturally friendly way.
Elders get digital training
In line with social distancing requirements, we are supplying the elders with an iPad and the necessary training, so that conversations with young team members can happen digitally. Once empowered by their new-found digital literacy, the DAG legends can go online and connect with social media, to stave off loneliness and isolation. It will also become the medium through which our DAG youth, as their mentees, will maintain.
The generation gap becomes narrower
DAG helps both young and old develop a better understanding of each other. DAG legends get a new lease of life as they find out more about the world young people are living in and the young people discover more about the history of the elders.
Mental health improves for young and old
DAG has a positive impact for all participants, with groups taking part in an exciting, value-creating project that exercises their minds and creativity, while gainfully occupying their time.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
DAG is an ongoing project. The more projects we run, the more positive change we can bring.
As with many things in life, we’ve had to adapt since the pandemic. We’re determined to continue helping people in the African and Caribbean community, by providing the face-to-face inter-generational interactions that are crucial to DAG’s success. Of course, now we need to do this within the framework of social distancing and other COVID-secure measures.
Our older volunteers are vital to our success and we need to protect them by giving them the means to deliver these project activities digitally and via other safe and easily accessible channels. This has created the need for us to supply them with iPads, which is our way of saying 'Thank U' to them for participating in the DAG project. Train them to use the iPad enables them to connect with young people. This is an example of the unexpected extra costs the pandemic has created for our DAG project.
WHAT WE WILL USE THE FUNDS FOR
We are seeking £12,000 in funding to run the redeveloped upgrade, as we digitalize its delivery for future DAG projects. This money will pay for the cost of the outstanding equipment needed as well as recruiting and digitally training 20 volunteers to adapt to this new approach.
The money will give us the flexibility to provide our services digitally or in-person, to ensure that we can keep delivering throughout the pandemic and beyond.
TYPICAL DAG PROJECT TIMELINE
MONTHS 1 & 2: Recruit volunteers, buy equipment, establish social media channel, update the website, prepare technical training
MONTHS 3 – 6: Carry out inter-generational interviews, record and distribute information via social media, and engaging public interactions
MONTHS 7: Carry out and record DAG inter-generational interviews in Schools where Students interview DAG legends, as a culturally friendly approach to tackling race issues at School.
MONTH 8: Visits to places of interest, DAG school event (can be held virtually if required)
MONTH 9 – 11: Complete all DAG outputs, including books, eBooks and music
MONTH 12: End of the project Awards Ceremony, with launch and sale of associated DAG products
We appreciate that times are hard for many, but we truly believe that the benefits DAG projects bring to the young and old from African and Caribbean communities, and to society as a whole, make us a cause well worth your support.
Please back us in any way you can, spreading the word about what we’re doing across your social media channels using #DAGLegends.
Show us your support for DAG by donating whatever you can, even the price of coffee.
And tell your friends about us!