YOUNG people who fled war torn Somalia and now live in Brent are the focus of a new thought provoking documentary which will have its premier this week.
The documentary, which will premier on March 31, explores the difficulties facing young immigrants from East Africa and a street gang culture which had developed in Cricklewood.
Following a complaint from residents to police in 2008, charity Cricklewood Homeless Concern (CHC), decided to speak to a group who were known for hanging around on street corners in the area to see if it could help.
Charlotte Curran, housing director at CHC, said: "The group made such a strong impression on me because they explained that they had no other place to socialise and that post code wars prevented them from attending their nearest youth centre. “They wanted to change but did not know how and grabbed the opportunity to be part of the solution rather than be the problem.
"No one would have predicted that two years later the same group would have set up an award winning movement for change that would gain the support and admiration of the local community and police."
The youngsters have now formed a group called Youth Engagement Scheme (YES) which aims to give young people from traditionally excluded communities a voice.
Deeq Omar, who is part of the YES, said: "I was given an opportunity to make a difference not only to other people's lives but also a chance to prove to myself that I can do something positive with mine. If I can direct one young person from prison then this project is worth it. Crime is an easy path to take.”
According to the charity, crime has dropped in the area since the group was set up. The documentary was shown at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn where the the youngsters also presented a manifesto for change called Unite da Streetz.