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How to have a happy, harmonious hive of activity

The Afrocats and kittens were real busy bees on the Youth Of The World programme this week!

Our under-11s put together a fantastic animation with animator Toby, and the older ones branched out into some beautiful calligraphy with project assistant Edel.

And we got thinking… what makes a great session for our fab young people and volunteers?

Read on to find out our three top tips.

1. Have, and follow, boundaries

Our session guidelines are super important because they help make sure that all of our young people are safe, and that our activities are fair for everybody.

Guidelines also introduce them to the fact that everyone will be required to follow the law, and that this will be expected of them as they grow into adults.

Have a look at our session ground rules below – what do you think?

2. Everybody gets their chance to shine

No single person can hog the limelight on an Afrocats session!

Whether you are an expert at your craft or you are learning a new skill, all of our young people have the opportunity to proudly show off their work to everyone and have it featured on our blog if they would like – no exceptions.

3. Accept everyone as they are

Our young people have heritage from all over the world such as the Philippines, Syria, Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, and beyond.

It truly is a worldwide community in one room, and we nurture this by exploring one another’s culture with the highest levels of admiration and respect.

We also have young people who live alongside neurodiverse conditions such as autism and ADHD, so sometimes they can be super energetic and easily distracted, or simply feel like being quiet and want to concentrate on the task at hand.

And sometimes, they just have different interests to everyone else.

But we make sure everybody accepts everyone else’s differences as well as any similarities.

Because it’s time to embrace what makes you… YOU-nique!

Psssst! Our not-so-secret ingredient is that we also encourage curiosity as well as creativity - and this week, our young people were asking the big questions in life, such as:

‘Does Pikachu eat noodles?’

‘Do cats have bellybuttons?’

‘Does [Edel’s cat] Haku like fish?’

As well as fostering their animation and calligraphy skills, everyone came away with questions that they could either go and find out for themselves, or ask a volunteer about.

Curiosity helps us grow and learn about the society and world we live in – and the Afrocats clearly have it in bucketloads.

So there you go! Here you have Afrocats’ magic mixture with which we make our sessions so marvelous for vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers, and first-generation Brits.

We even win awards for our work in the community – so keep an eye out on our website and socials for what we have planned in the near future.

See you next time – and stay curious!

Want to find out more about volunteering with us? Get involved and help us make a difference for young people in Manchester by reaching out to us here.


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