Urban Digital Mentor Project (#staysafesaysound)

The Salam Project are a cultural youth and community social enterprise who work in anti-youth crime. They work in the fields of knife crime, county lines, drug abuse, offending / re-offending extremism / radicalisation and permanent exclusion.

Due to the lockdown in March 2020, calls increased from parents, schools, carers, probation services, youth offending teams and social services. The Salam Project works predominantly in London (L.B. Brent L.B. Lambeth, L.B. Southwark, L.B. Lewisham, L.B. Haringey etc.) and Manchester (Longsight, Moss Side, Ardwick & Gorton) The Salam Project team have been involved with mentoring young people with various issues digitally. This means, they have been mentoring via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp Video or GoogleHangouts.

Due to most of their clients are from African and African Caribbean communities the young people are from London and Manchester predominantly. All of The Salam Project’s mentors are of African and Afro Caribbean heritage. Who are also professionals and business entrepreneurs too.

All of the mentees are from African and Afro Caribbean heritage. Unfortunately many of the young people have issues with county lines, gangs, underachievement, drug addictionlow self esteem and depression.

Ismael Le South (Director of The Salam Project) says ‘The stats blatantly shows that Black youths are disproportionately permanently excluded from school, locked up in prison, wrongly diagnosed with special education needs disabilities, filling up the mental health asylums and this skunk is destroying our youth. We have to also mention that Black youths are over represented in knife crime and county lines too.

We could either moan all day or do something about it.’ He goes on further to say ‘As a youth worker and a British born Black man of African /Afro Caribbean heritage, I am honoured to work with 15 other inspiring people who are mentoring with me. The mentors got safeguarding /child protection training from The Faiths Forum. The mentor training was supplied by The Mentor Workshop. They are now getting requests from pupil referral units, schools, faith institutions, foster care facilities and mental health hubs.

The national lottery’s community fund is supporting the project. Some of the mentors are also tutoring too.

After the funding is finished in March they will be charging parents and organisations to keep their project sustainable.

The Salam Project? (Promo video) – YouTube


Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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