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Youth in action

The Youth in Action project sees 15 young people from the Mpumalanga region of South Africa travel to North Somerset to share their creative and cultural experiences during a three-week visit.

15th June 2009 - 3rd July 2009

The young people from the Youth in Action project gave an impromptu performance which raised the roof in North Somerset's council chamber.

The young people are part of a local community-based organisation called Thembalethu which means 'our hope'. The area served by Thembalethu has the highest HIV infection rate in the world.

Executive member for children and young people in North Somerset, Councillor Jeremy Blatchford, said: "I've seen some performances in the chamber over the years but nothing like this! Their energy reverberated through this place and they will be an inspiration to all of our young people they will be working with over the next couple of weeks."

The Youth in Action project has come to North Somerset due to the links with Bella Natura in Portishead, a not-for-profit organisation which was set up to support the work of Thembalethu and sells the craft items produced by the young people.

With the support of Thembalethu, young people have developed the Youth in Action programme which helps to create employment, give young people a sense of self worth and raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.

During their stay, the group will visit schools across North Somerset and perform with North Somerset pupils at a range of concerts.

Schools involved with the project include High Down, Portishead; Backwell Junior; Clevedon School; Crockerne Primary, Pill; Gordano School; Backwell School; Priory School, Weston; St Katherine's School, Pill; Worle School; St Peter's School, Portishead; West Leigh Infants, Backwell; Trinity Primary, Portishead.