Mike-OgannusiNationality: British

GYV Participant: 1996 (staff)

Education: PhD research student at the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. The research aims to get a fresh look at the mind of State governance and deepen the moral debate about the provision of targeted and support services for young people in the UK.

Most Interesting Countries Visited: Japan, Basque Country and the US.

Favorite GYV Memory: My memories of GYV include cultural sharing nights, (very) early morning Ti Chi, playing football in the hot sun, reciting poetry, slap stick comedy with custard pies, drumming, and the wonders of tofu (before and after consumption!) GYV introduced me to a type of education that values individual worth and builds inclusive relationships rather than generate resistance or rejection. My experiences at GYV still influence my passion for youth work as I remember the stories that the young people brought with them and the optimism and joy of the potential futures they took away – transcending culture, language, opportunity, and the even the politics of war. It left my spirit with a global footprint and the knowledge that changing beliefs can change behaviour.

Biography: My background includes youth work, social work, research, civil rights & police monitoring. I remain particularly interested in helping young people in times of challenge, often based in settings that are characterised by conflict. From the Caen Peace Museum to integenerational projects in Funibashi my work has taken me to the Netherlands, Basque Country, Japan and France to meet with cabinet ministers, colleagues, and young people.

In 2006 I published an article entitled ‘Keep It Together, Keep It Safe: Violence, Peace and Young People’ (Development Education Journal, October 2006) and the following year I set up ‘Peace Techniques’ a self-founded company that offers training and projects to promote youth perspectives and actively challenge the acceptance of aggression and violence.

I now also lecture part-time at De Montfort University at the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences and the Youth affairs Unit, where I am studying for my PhD. This year I am really excited about the potential of a new project called ‘XL’ that plans to create safe communal spaces as part of an international network to holistically integrate age, culture and ability.

For all my friends of 1996 Alumni, please get in touch and send me pics and your memories at my email mikeo_2007@yahoo.co.uk.   Peace.