Making Belle Vue proud

ChildLine virtual ambassador Jehoshua Willaims.  - Photo by Angelo Marcelle
ChildLine virtual ambassador Jehoshua Willaims. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle

A HERO was sometimes depicted as someone whose identity remained a secret, as he ran around in a cape doing good deeds.

However, today a real hero is often an individual admired for their courage, selflessness and noble qualities. Someone who is willing to take risks or make sacrifices to help others, while achieving a noble goal.

Our heroes of today live in our communities, and some of them we may know personally, but there are those who we have probably just heard about.

So in the coming weeks we will highlight several U-Reporters, young people who are a part of Unicef's flagship digital platform raising their voices on issues affecting them, who are heroes in their own right and have been doing exceptional things in their communities toward amplifying the voice of the youth of TT through their varied areas of specialty.

Today we feature Childline virtual ambassador Jehoshua William.

CHILDLINE virtual ambassador Jehoshua Williams wants young people in Belle Vue, Long Circular, to know they can achieve anything they want and urged youths to not be deterred by negative stereotypes.

ChildLine, a non-profit organisation founded in 2002, dedicated to the well-being and protection of children and youths up to age 25. The organisation offers a free, child-friendly telephone helpline available every day of the year.

Its Ambassador Programme aims to develop participants' interpersonal, communication and leadership skills through training sessions and peer support and mediation.

To become a ChildLine virtual ambassador, participants must complete a three-day virtual training and are expected to represent ChildLine and its values in their community and online.

Williams said his manager at Childline is the person who encouraged him to get involved and represent the organisation.

"U-Report has given me the opportunity to meet other ambitious youths who are also passionate about youth issues. Through it, I now have the opportunity to affect purposeful change."

The 20-year-old, who lives in Belle Vue and is currently interning at New City Chambers as part of his Bachelor of Law programme at UWI, said he is passionate about helping young people in his area and hopes his sucess can inspire others.

Williams said he continues to face an uphill battle due to Belle Vue being a hotspot, mostly when he is applying for almost anything.

Twenty-year-old Jehoshua Willaims lives in Belle Vue and is currently interning at New City Chambers as part of his Bachelor of Law programme at UWI. - Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Williams, the last of five grew up in a religious home, with both parents eventually becoming Pentecostal ministers. He cited his father's generous nature and always choosing to find peace in situations as a template for how he interacts with people.

“Everyone has something to offer that can change the world.”

In 2019, Williams joined the Ministry of Sports and Community Development Peer Resolution Programme, which aims to equip young people with skills to be effective peace-makers in their communities.

This programme also teaches how to de-escalate conflicts within families, communities and schools while reducing truancy and delinquency among youth.

In 2022, Williams was shortlisted as a finalist for the Angostura Youth Champion competition, receiving $10,000. After completing the peer programme, he saw an ad for Childline and applied.

“I was interested in it. I wanted to get more involved with youth.”

Williams said he speaks with young people in his community and assists where he can with linking them to services they may need.

He believes young people taking positive steps will counter the negative stigma of the area.

The former St Mary’s College student said his experiences with applying for grants and enrolling in programmes are knowledge he has used to help other young people.

“Sometimes I may get an Instagram DM, but mostly parents approach me and ask for advice.”


Williams says he does not come from a rich family and believes his humble background and hardworking parents are no different from other families in Belle Vue.

Williams, who is the current president of the Law Society and Faculty of Law Representative to the Guild, believes a community group is needed in Belle Vue to help steer youths away from falling into the cycle of crime.

“I've been thinking about how else I can be beneficial to Belle Vue. I can't help everyone, that's unrealistic, but the youth can change the entirety of Belle Vue.”

Williams says he worries about the mindset of the young people in the area and wants them to know there are many opportunities for them. He believes they just need to see it.

“People often stigmatise anything coming out of Belle Vue. It is as if you can only do crime. That is far from the truth.”

Williams says despite the stigma, there are hardworking people, and the area is filled with love and camaraderie.

In 2021, Williams took part in the US Embassy Youth Ambassador Exchange Programme. Due to covid19, he could not travel to the US and completed the programme virtually.

He describes this time as insightful and says he was able to collaborate with and learn from other young people throughout the region.

“I want young people, although there is crime in the community, you are capable of making a difference. Don't let negative stigma hinder you. There is positivity in the community. The community rallies behind you when they see you doing well. Proudly say you are from Belle Vue.”

Williams says he is proud to be a youth from a “hotspot, a ghetto area” and has used the lessons and struggles to motivate and push through when times become difficult.

“I'm not special, nor was I born with a gold spoon, but I am doing something, and I want the youths of Belle Vue to know they can do it too.”

He admits the area has issues that affected him personally, including transportation difficulties and delivery drivers not wanting to come to the area.

“That builds a certain type of grit, a certain type of survivor mentality, which can help in other aspects of your life. You will learn how to endure and that type of mindset is invaluable. It's something that will benefit you moving forward.”

He ended by asking the country to understand the unique challenges Belle Vue faces.

“These adjectives you ascribe to Belle Vue are because there is crime. Everywhere in TT is touched by crime and violence. The youths of Belle Vue will go on to do great things.”


"Making Belle Vue proud"

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