“I actually came here to keep me out of the gangs here in Bonteheuwel, because the violence here…every day someone dies.” Maurice is fifteen years old and part of the soccer after-school programme in Bonteheuwel.
He has been part of the Amy Foundation for seven years, first part of the academic support programme and now part of the soccer programme. He is an avid soccer fan and a dedicated Manchester United supporter, spending much of his free time watching games. The programme keeps him busy all afternoon on weekdays, keeping him away from the negative influences surrounding his home.
“I want to make Bonteheuwel a better place for other kids.” A positive role model in the community is incredibly important, and Maurice describes the effect one person can have on the whole street. “The best things about this community are the people trying to make it a better place for the others. There’s a lady here with a soup kitchen that gives out soup to the people that don’t have food. That’s an example of the positive people in the community.” He wants to be one of those people, but struggles to think further ahead than a few years. Many of his friends have joined gangs and left school, but he focuses on soccer, on the foundation, and on his goals for the future.
Self-described as childish, Maurice believes that he should enjoy being young, because as soon as he turns eighteen he has to accept the responsibilities of adulthood. Known in his school as a class clown, he pokes fun at other students and teachers but maintains good marks in all of his subjects. He isn’t sure if he wants to attend college yet, but he knows he wants to stay in Bonteheuwel and dedicate his life to bettering the community.