Liverpool kids shaping up to be future role models

Two of Liverpool’s new young mayors are members of a city supplementary school which is the only one in the country to take part in elections.Liverpool has 12 young mayors, who serve for a year and are appointed following elections held at schools across the city

The elections are overseen by Liverpool Schools Parliament officials and give youngsters the chance to experience an election process and to have their say in the big issues of the city.

Layth Al-Hakimi and Jood Elbuluk are two children from Liverpool 8 who attend the Liverpool Arabic Centre supplementary school, which runs every Saturday in the Park Road Adult Learning Centre.Layth and Jood were appointed following the first ever elections at the school, where youngsters learn subjects including Arabic – and the pair hope to inspire fellow pupils and youngsters from across Liverpool to take a role in the city’s political and civic life.

Layth, 12, said: “We’ve been mayors for about three months.  It’s a good opportunity. We want to make a better community.”Our free new website In Your Area has news and other information like jobs, funeral notices, traffic and travel, houses for sale and more – based around your postcode

We also have an In Your Area app that’s free to download to your phone too.Jood, 9, agrees: “It’s exciting and fun and we get to change attitudes.”At their inauguration ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall, Jood made a passionate speech about climate change and is proud to represent the Liverpool Sudanese community.

Abdul Razak Mossa, an organiser with the Liverpool Arabic Centre based at the Tiber Hub on Lodge Lane in Toxteth, which set up the supplementary school, said: The whole of the Sudanese community is really proud of Jood.  It’s a big thing she has achieved.”Jood at the Liverpool Arabic Centre supplementary school (Image: Jason Roberts photography)

Layth, who attends secondary school, enjoys being a role model for other youngsters.

His father Najib Al-Hakimi, who is head teacher of the supplementary school said: “I am so proud of him that he was elected as young mayor for Liverpool. “For the school it is a big achievement – we were told this was the first time a supplementary school was involved.”

“It’s important because there’s not much representation from ethnic minorities within politics. It’s important to empower children to engage with politics.”Since being elected, my son has been studying about concerns of the youth, he’s become more mature, talking to other people and being a role model – it has raised his confidence, his sense of pride and identity.”

Jood and Layth have become role models for children at the school and hope to inspire others to take an interest in politics Abdul said: “We have had the Lord Mayor of Liverpool coming to the school twice a year, we asked if we could take part and the Liverpool Schools Parliament team came and supervised the election.”It’s about embracing the concept of democracy and getting young people involvement in local and national politics.

“It’s about investing in the future of the city – developing leadership skills and support, being a part of the Liverpool city scene and having a sense of belonging, identity and confidence.”

Special Thanks to Liverpool Echo for their Article-

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