This powerful and informative documentary strips bare the burgeoning problems to do with youth unemployment, street gangs, drug issues and the socio economic gap between the haves and have nots.
Les Twentyman has dedicated over 45 years of his life working in the trenches and caring for street kids. He is one of Melbourne’s and perhaps the world’s most experienced, hands on specialists when it comes to the rescue and care of street kids.
He understands what drives street kids, what they need to survive and what our society resources can do to assist in providing positive, practical solutions.
“It’s about the issues we face today, with homelessness and poverty and unemployment and drugs, but swings into a positive mode with the kids at the basketball centre in Braybrook, and doing some rap and dancing.”
Mr Twentyman said it was important for everyday Melburnians to know how the other half lives.
“Our welfare system is dysfunctional, our jails are full, we’re dealing with drugs and gangs, but people can make a difference,” he said. “
Only by knowing it’s a problem, you have the ability to take the baton and do something.”
HOW YOU CAN ASSIST
If you are in the position to donate money, goods or services please contact 20thMan Foundation on 03 9689 4800 / email@example.com
I had the opportunity to meet with Les Twentyman, his fellow team member Wayne Ownes and singer / songwriter Lucy Gale at the 20th Man HQ in Footscray last week. Along with getting publicity shots to promote the 20th Man Charity Gala on the 18 October, my mission was to get a closer understanding of who Les is and how I could help him connect with the general public.
I discovered there are incredibly complex issues that Les and his dedicated team and supporters are confronting on a daily basis.
Most of us in the burbs rarely see children and adolescents actually living on the streets, forging a living out of what’s at hand. Often these kids are pretty hard to identify; overshadowed by our society’s enormous prosperity and affluence.
What is now illuminated to me is that Melbourne has a rather colourful and diverse street kid sub-culture. A melting pot of cultural and political diversity with rich expression and a great deal of potential. The graffiti posted on walls throughout all our suburbs, reflects a natural born desire to communicate, sometimes statement based and sometimes messages to rival gangs. A language that has sprung from ingenuity, a language that can be both positive and negative.
Recently Les visited America as part of the 20th Man Youth Services – International Out-Reach Exchange in the quest to cross pollinate information about strategies in tackling the youth crisis at home.
Yet the common denominator among all these kids, regardless of where they are from, is that they are socially and financially dis-enfranchised, excluded from mainstream society, left to survive the best way they can.
We are indeed lucky to have Les Twentyman, a leading specialist with over 30 years of grass roots experience and knowledge in the field on the job.
The forthcoming 20th Man Charity Gala will be held at the Peninsula, Shed 14, Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands on the 18 Octobers 2013. If you would like to be part of this very special evening and get a greater understanding of the work this significant fund achieves throughout the year, please purchase your tickets direct from Wayne Owens 0417 107 959, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucy Gale will again be performing “Tears of a Child” a song co-written by Lucy as part of “the Loft” group and recorded by Bettina Spivakovsky to help lift awareness of our society’s struggling youth. Available in iTunes with all proceeds going to the 20th Man Fund.
If you are interested in learning more about the work Les does please check out: .20thman.com.au