Social ills in the spotlight at high school exhibition

The pupils from Beacon Hill High School held a photo exhibition sharing their stories with the community.

Through a photo exhibition held on Saturday October 20, Beacon Hill High School pupils shared how they are affected by social ills.

Seven girls from Beacon Hill participated in the programme through which they were taught about mental health issues, which social ills affect them, their families and community and how to tell their stories through pictures.

Nicole Charles, 17, from Beacon Valley shared her experiences on being a part of the programme. At first she did not know why she was part of the programme. Her teachers had encouraged her to do it, explaining how it could help her. “I then understood what was expected of me, and understood my purpose. This programme helped me understand things I was not aware of, speak out and act on it.”

Laura Fortune, 25, from Retreat and one of the programme’s facilitators and creators, said the programme focused on participatory action and research.

“We want to redirect the narrative where students create their own story. Through this they can educate their teachers, peers and community around them,” she said.

Laura also said the pupils misplace concepts like depression and anxiety for example, by saying their heads are paining. This programme helps them realise what these concepts are. “The programme also made them aware of their resilience for living under the circumstances they face every day,” said Laura.

Safia Kamalie, 18, from Alpine Park said: “The youth tend to forget that people have bigger problems than ours. We need to understand and learn that everything that had happened, happened for a reason. We need to embrace it. We need good role models in our society, they play a big role. Who we look up to says a lot.”

Hope Cupido, 17, from Beacon Valley said this experience had been touching for her. “Knowing that there are many other people who have problems like mine makes me feel like I am not alone. I know that there are people I can talk to and share my story with,” said Hope.