In recognition of World Day of Social Justice, this article takes a look at some of the ways Fight for Peace provides the conditions for young people to thrive, as well as inspire others to become better through their determination to do well and succeed.

For us, justice and equity are two of the key components needed to create a more peaceful, safer world. That’s why we channel the power of boxing and martial arts and other youth support services to champion young people in our communities.

By bringing together a range of specialist support to young people in Newham, there is a rich space for our future leaders to be themselves, make friends and develop both inside and outside of the ring.

Through a combination of combat sports and personal development, young people are given a welcoming and safe space to break down some of the barriers that can stand in their way. 

For example, having the ability to be able to develop important qualities such as self-belief, discipline and confidence can aid young people in navigating the world, championing these strengths within a range of environments including at home, school, work, and in their relationships. 

So why is this holistic approach to support key in strengthening pathways to a more just world?

According to the United Nations, this annual recognition of social justice aims to remind us of the need to build fairer, more equitable societies. 

As people, we all need a positive environment to thrive in order to reach our potential, but as we know this isn’t always the case when it comes to the inequality we see across the globe.

Unjust conditions include a range of issues and challenges people must overcome in order to build better outcomes for themselves. In the communities where we work, people have been impacted by inequalities such as less opportunity in employment and education, and some young people can find themselves exposed to high levels of crime and violence.

When thinking about inequality and injustice, it’s important to remember the power of  individuality, and not reduce people’s capabilities and chances of success to the barriers they face. Nobody should be defined by this, and we should all be provided the same opportunities regardless of who we are.

Without strong foundations for growth and support, how do we expect young people to overcome them the best way they can, and reach their full potential?

Working with young people aged 7-25 at our Academy in North Woolwich, we understand that the transition into adulthood in particular can be a challenging time. We also know that martial arts is a great outlet for young people to relieve the stresses of everyday life, providing them with a positive and encouraging environment to not only become champions in the ring, but in life.

With a range of additional services such as mentoring, education, youth leadership and employability, the possibilities for our young people’s futures are endless and we are inspired by their achievements everyday.

Over the years, we’ve seen many young people go off and do amazing things, with improved mental and physical health, developing positive relationships with self and others, as well as the development of new practical skills they can take into education and employment.

As we continue to embrace our community, it’s young people like our members who are the catalyst for the changes needed to provide a fair and just society. 

By supporting young people to develop these skills, and providing a safe community space  we hope to be part of a change in the world which sees everyone no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or background living in a fair and just world which allows everyone to and achieve their dreams and aspirations.

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