Malik helps young people towards study success
– It’s easy just to lean back and complain about society and the direction things are moving in and not do anything about it. But when I have the opportunity to make a difference and to produce change, why not actually do it?
It is early morning and Malik Chaudhry has just got up. His voice is a little tired but as soon as we start talking about his passion for social issues he immediately becomes much brighter. Malik’s interest in social issues was aroused three years ago when he underwent an operation for a stomach infection and was confined to bed for a couple of weeks. He was forced to take a break from his studies, and suddenly found he had more free time than he could imagine. In order to pass the time he started thinking about different ways to exert influence in society and he decided to join the youth wing of a political party.
It wasn’t long before Malik, together with a group of friends, also started the Reacta Malmö association. They had all completed their upper secondary studies, some had started at university, and they felt they wanted to find a way to give something back to society. They chose to do so by providing study coaching and sporting activities to children and young people in Malmö.
– Your school years are a very important part of your life, says Malik Chaudhry. You make a lot of important decisions and it can be difficult later on in life to change the direction you’ve chosen while in school. There are study guidance counsellors and opportunities for help with homework in school, of course, but away from school this kind of support doesn’t exist. Those who have the financial resources can always buy any extra help they need to get on in life, but for those without such resources the situation is completely different.
Good role models are important
Today there are ten individuals helping to provide study coaching at Reacta Malmö. Their activities have been much appreciated and between 20 and 30 children and young people attend each session – everything from primary school pupils to young adults attending municipal adult education courses.
– We help them with their homework, but sometimes they might also need to go for a stroll and talk about stress, their financial situation, anxiety and other things that are troubling them, says Malik Chaudhry. We try to guide the young people in the right direction, to be good role models, provide support and show them what their options are. There was one guy who had been involved in different types of crime and who came to us a while back. He has now chosen to give up his illegal activities and has started to study to improve his grades at the adult education college and to look for work instead. It feels great when something like that happens!
Malik hopes that Reacta Malmö will soon have permanent premises in which to conduct its activities. That will give them the chance to market themselves much better and to attract even more young people. They have also started giving talks to school students, staff and municipal politicians about the importance of good role models.
– I think that too few role models are being cultivated in society today, says Malik. It’s much easier to do something positive when you have people around you who you look up to. Particularly when you’re young. It is therefore very important to focus more attention on people who are doing good things in society.
What have you learned as a result of your involvement in the association?
– I’ve become much more responsible and better at working with others. I’ve always been someone who doesn’t like getting help from other people, who wants to be able to do everything himself. But my mum said something very interesting a year or so ago. She asked me how I could expect the good in people to grow and develop if they don’t get to help others and feel needed. We have to get people to feel needed and included or we will develop into a more egocentric society. That wouldn’t benefit anyone. If we want to produce change, then we need to do it through love and a sense of community.
Would you like to get in touch with Reacta Malmö? Follow them on Facebook by clicking the link below or e-mail Malik direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text: André Vifot Haas