Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Young people key to identifying solutions in our communities – Anderson

6 December, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said that young people need to be part of the process in coming up with solutions to address the effects of poverty and other problems in communities across Derry.

Ms Anderson said:

"Sadly practically every survey carried out on the impact of poverty and deprivation has Derry City and the Northwest area at the top of the leader board for all the wrong reasons. The shocking statistics for child poverty in the Northwest and the impact that this is having on our communities can be seen on a daily basis.

"Key to starting on the road to help addressing those problems and finding out what the community wants and needs is to have that community fully participating in arriving at the solutions. One of the areas that I feel needs addressed is the lack of input from our young people .I meet young people on a daily basis and many feel marginalised and left out of the decision making processes of what goes in their areas, what their area needs, be it in terms of education, facilities, job creation and in particular the effect poverty is having in real terms.

"Within the Derry City Council area we have a proportionately high child population. 30,312 children under 18, representing 28% of the total population, so it's vitally important that that those young people have an input to what shape they want this city to take. Solutions cannot be imposed from the outside.

"The various agencies need to be in there in our communities, speaking to our young people and letting them have a say and seeing what can be done to help address their needs." ENDS

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