Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST) has recently joined the Renew Wales programme, hosting a co-ordinator who works across North Wales. We hope that having EYST on board will help us make Renew Wales support available to communities who are currently under-represented in our network and in mainstream environmental action.
Rocio Cifuentes, Director of EYST sees benefits flowing in both directions as a result of being involved with Renew:
“EYST Wales is working towards becoming a greener organisation, with minimal impact on our planet, and we’d also like to learn from and inspire other groups working with minority communities. Being green and safeguarding the wellbeing of future generations is a duty not a privilege. EYST staff are skilled in engaging with community groups and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and including everyone is vital to the success of Renew Wales’ mission..”
Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team was set up in 2005 by a group of ethnic minority young people in Swansea. It aimed to fill a gap in provision for young BME people aged 11-25 by providing a targeted, culturally sensitive and holistic support service to meet their needs. Since then, EYST has expanded its mission and vision to also meet the needs of BME young people, families and individuals including refugees and asylum-seekers living in Wales, and they now employ a team of 35 staff, based in Swansea, Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham. Volunteering is also a key part of their work and have an active and growing volunteer team of over 100!
Lee Tiratira, is based in Wrexham and is the BAME North Wales Regional Co-ordinator with EYST. He explains why he wanted to get involved with Renew Wales:
” I am very keen on minimising the impact that myself and my family have on the planet and would like to reach more young people with this message and inform the next generation about the impact they are having. I see myself as a source of support to people and communities and would like to bring more people around a table to discuss, disseminate and solve issues that are affecting them.”
“Hopefully, working as part of Renew Wales will give me and the organisation another positive aspect to our work.”
EYST engages with lots of different organisations and groups across the country including faith groups and victim support groups as well as links across and in other sectors such as health, education and the police. We hope it is the beginning of a very fruitful partnership!