Published: 10:28, 05 May 2021
| Updated: 13:23, 05 May 2021
Two aspiring young politicians have been elected to serve their communities at a national level.
Dartford Youth County councillors Kweku Asafo-Adjei and Krish Rana will join the UK Youth Parliament to serve Kent as deputy members.
The schoolboys joined the Dartford Youth Council last year as part of a digital recruitment drive to pluck youngsters with diverse voices from different schools across the borough.
As members, both Kweku and Krish participated in an ellenor Hospice fundraising walk and collectively they raised a total of £325.
They both then stood in elections to represent Dartford in the most recent Kent Youth County Council elections and successfully gained positions, later to be elected as deputy members of the UK Youth Parliament.
Formed in 2000, the Youth Parliament has 369 members, who are elected to represent the views of young people in their area.
It provides opportunities for 11 to 18-year-olds to use their voice to bring about social change and deputies are elected to assist them.
Krish Rana, who studies at Dartford Grammar School, said: “I saw the fundamental need to unlock the borough’s great potential and as an ambitious young man, the desire to empower and bring about change in local, young people’s lives.
“I initially registered for my local youth council - of which I was informed in my weekly school assembly - to bring about small yet meaningful changes in my local community.”
He added: “I am very excited to embark on this new journey, that will offer me insights into the workings of parliament and more importantly, the chance to express the voice of my peers, on a greater platform.”
Kweku Asafo-Adjei, who is a student at Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, said: “I am so overwhelmed with joy by the fact that I will be able to have a glimpse of what life is like in government.
“As a young student in Kent, I distinguished the fact that I need to do not only Kent but Dartford good and show that people that are from a BAME background can achieve highly.
“I am grateful for all support that the DYC has offered me and I am delighted to go on this journey and speak for the young people in Dartford.”
The Dartford Youth Council is a non-political body made up of a group of young people aged 18 and under elected from schools.
It is represented on a county platform by its Kent Youth County councillors who meet monthly at County Hall, Maidstone, to represent youth-related issues and work on campaigns and projects.
Dartford Youth Council chairman Ricky Taing said: “It is a great honour to have Krish and Kweku not only serve the Dartford Youth Council, but also represent us in the Kent Youth County Council and ultimately, the UK Youth Parliament.
“Having served as outstanding local youth councillors, they will now also allow us to empower the voices of our constituents on a much larger, national platform.”
Last month, youngsters from Knockhall Primary School in Greenhithe were granted an insight into the inner workings of Parliament as they had their own petition read aloud in the House of Commons.
To learn more about the UK Youth Parliament, visit their website.