Faith-based organisations must take a lead in enabling youth to find meaning and purpose in their lives, recommends a report on the riots, which shook London and other cities in England a year ago.
Entitled 'After the Riots: From Blame to Positive Action', the report contains the conclusions of a national forum, jointly organised by Initiatives of Change UK, The Cordoba Foundation, Burning2Learn and the Civil Society Forum.
The forum, which was held on 1 February 2012, dealt with the moral and values dimensions of the problem.
At the forum, young people were given the chance to air their views and opinions in an open and safe environment and candidly expressed their frustrations about various issues; the relationships with authorities, such as the police, and the lack of job opportunities.
Stressing that 'this is not the time to despair', the report states: 'Throughout Britain, there are seeds of hope. These are sown by community groups and organisations. Out of the bankruptcy of failed regeneration efforts, a new set of organisations are emerging in inner cities. Change and development is taking place at the local levels.'
One of the key segments in the forum, according to the report, was the sharing of initiatives of change, led by individuals and communities. The participants heard case studies of how, against all odds, individuals and communities have created small projects – some even big ones – to tackle issues such as, poverty, gun culture, drugs and unemployment.
The report concludes: 'All efforts to tackle the root causes of unrest need to take into account these experiences.
'Solutions to problems abound. The challenge for all of us, particularly decision
makers, would be to ensure that such initiatives are sustainable and facilitate similar positive action throughout the country.'