This month, we read about a young woman called Henrietta. We’d like to share her story.
When Henrietta was 17, she threatened a girl in her class with a knife and was thrown out of school. Henrietta had not grown up in a stable family home.
At 17, she was lonely, angry and afraid. She thought using a knife could protect her. But it made her problems worse.
Henrietta told the Guardian newspaper in London that it was a chance meeting with people from an organisation called The Agency which saved her.
Four years on from the knife incident, she is 21 and works for EY Foundation, a charity supported by a big financial company, and she has an amazing job helping young people who are lost like she used to be to find good jobs for themselves.
The Agency was given a special award by the British parliament last month for helping people like Henrietta.
Marcus Fustini, who set up the organisation in Brazil, where he grew up, says the key to his success is talking direct to young people in difficult situations and getting to know what they and their friends and community need.
Just like they do in Brazil, where poor people live in areas called favelas (you may have read about them in WoW! here), Marcus’s teams don’t bring ready-made solutions to people.
They go out and ask young people in England who are hanging out at bus stops or in parks to talk about people in their neighbourhood who may have good ideas.
The Agency offers small amounts of money to try and set up a business that will help their community. Henrietta got money to bring young people like herself who had spent years without their own family into putting on plays and other shows in theatres.
“When my project was chosen, for the first time in my life, I felt proud of myself,” she said
Henrietta says she sometimes finds it hard to believe that now she has her own business and works with big companies in London to help young people in trouble. “It’s taken a lot to get used to it and I still have wobbles, but I’m basically now all: let’s do it!” she told The Guardian.