I met some WIMPS last night and a very impressive group of people they are too.
The “Where Is My Public Servant” project empowers young people in Northern Ireland to engage directly with civil servants and elected officials. This engagement has resulted in the mainstream political parties paying attention to the WIMPS Crews.
The WIMPS Crews are out all over Northern Ireland and are “door stepping” politicians and asking them hard questions about issues that challenge everyone in the region not just about youth issues. These encounters and more formal interviews are turned into bite sized WIMP-Casts which speak directly to young voters in the idiom they understand.
This is an ambitious and truly worthwhile project. It is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies who believe in addressing the root causes of issues instead of applying a salve to the symptoms. In this vein their mission in Northern Ireland is “the application of a social justice framework leads our Children & Youth Programme to see all of our work through the lens of whether it serves to perpetuate peace, and a key focus has been the integration of schools for Catholic and Protestant students.”
The WIMPS Crew I met last night were passionate about politics, well informed about the state of the their political system and extremely knowledgeable about the geopolitical situation too. When young people are invested in the success of their communities there is real hope for change.