Tackling gang violence
109. Temi Mwale
An inspirational 18 year-old from Barnet has spent two years encouraging thousands of youngsters to reject gang culture.
Temi Mwale grew up in Barnet’s largest estate where she witnessed gang-related culture day after day. Sadly, when she was 15, her childhood friend and next-door-neighbour was shot and killed. This was a life changing experience for Temi and she became determined to honour her friend’s memory and educate others about the realities of youth violence and gang culture.
In 2012, Temi founded her organisation Get Outta The Gang (GOTG), which tackles gang culture, violence and related issues. Temi has dedicated hundreds of hours of her time to GOTG and she helps to deliver several programmes and workshops including the ‘Right Road’ intervention programme which encourages individuals who have been involved in gang-related issues to share and recover from their experiences. As well as working on rehabilitation, Temi focuses on gang prevention and created a workshop entitled ‘Up2U.’ The workshop tours schools across the capital and discusses peer pressure, gang culture and provides practical advice on how to keep safe and steer clear of gangs. Overall, the GOTG programmes and workshops have reached over 2,000 young people in London.
Today Temi, who is a former member of the UK Youth Parliament, continues to run a GOTG team of 15 dedicated volunteers. She is determined to combine volunteering with her studies at the London School of Economics, where she will soon be studying for a Law degree.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Temi was inspired by a tragic event to stand up and make a difference for young people in London. Over the last three years she has worked tirelessly to prevent people joining gangs and to support those caught up in gang violence to make positive changes in their lives. I’m pleased to name Temi as a UK Point of Light.”
“Over the last two years I have put all my energy and effort into Get Outta The Gang because I don’t feel enough is being done to tackle gang culture and youth violence. I hope if nothing else, this award will bring some much needed attention to these issues so our whole society can work cohesively to end the loss of young lives”