Ten-year-old girls make film to in stand against gang crime

A group of girls as young as 10 have turned their hands to film-making to speak out against the problem of gangs in their area.

Chyna Campbell, 10, Saskia Bowden, 10, Yasmine Boumaraf, 12 and Sarah Heba, 13, of Queen’s Park, directed a 15-minute film to encourage young people to stay away from crime.

The girls decided to campaign against gangs during a 20-week project with a local branch of Save The Children. They started by interviewing people around Harrow Road to discover the scale of the problem and also spoke to the youth workers who help young gang members.

Using this information they created their film, using monologues to show what was going on inside the minds of gang members and highlighting things young people could do instead of joining a gang.

The film was shown to the community at the Beethoven Centre in Third Avenue, Queen’s Park, on Friday.

Chyna said: “I think gangs are a problem around here. We talked to people who live in Harrow Road and they said shops were always getting robbed by gang members. My next door neighbour got burgled a while ago and that scared me because it could have been me.”

The girls suggested that better support of parents and parents-to-be and more activities at youth clubs was the answer to stopping young people joining gangs.

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The film, which the girls starred in, scripted and even helped to film, was shown to residents who had come to see Toy Story 3 – the final event of the Queen’s Park film festival.

Sarah said: “I was really nervous before they showed it. I didn’t want to be there. But it felt great when everyone liked it. It was a real load off my mind.

“After doing this, I’d like to get into film-making when I grow up.”

Emily Mcgahey, project officer for Save The Children, who worked with the girls, said: “The creativity they showed throughout the project has made it really fun and I think they have produced a clever, funny and useful film which I hope will greatly benefit the community in which they live.

“The fact that these young women have the courage to stand up for something they believe in is something they and their families should be very proud of, as I am of them.