by Khyati Jesani
Bullying is something that we have all encountered in some form, whether we be innocent bystanders, the bully or the one being bullied. Khyati Jesani has been involved in an anti-bullying charity for a few years now and gives the insight of her experience.
What is Beat Bullying?
Beat Bullying is a UK based children’s charity which promotes anti-bullying throughout schools and local communities. They help teach people what bullying is and help you understand the reasons behind bullying. They spread the word about anti-bullying, so that today’s young people can educate the others around them to help prevent bullying and to form a better society.
When did you start getting involved and how?
I started doing work with bullying in 2006 by volunteering at my school as they were doing an interfaith workshop in my local borough. The charity works with the majority of London Boroughs, and in many areas around the country. You can get involved via school or even the internet, if you go on www.cybermentors.org.
Why did you start to get involved?
I got involved as it was something different and I wanted to learn more about it as I did not really know what it was. When I initially started, I thought it was going to be boring and all I wanted was the food and to go home! However, I was wrong and it was actually really fun and I got to meet lots of new people and learn new skills which I would not have learnt unless I got involved in something like this.
What does your involvement entail?
Over the years, my involvement with the charity has increased. What started as occasional mentoring and counselling children that are being bullied, to advising the charity on how young people are viewing things and advising the charity trustees on how to push the charity forward.
What you have learnt?
I have learnt that bullying is actually a really serious issue which affects a lot of people. It does not just have to be children, adults can get bullied too. Also, I have learnt that you should talk to someone about your problems if you have any, as someone may be able to help you so that your problem is resolved.
As well as participating in the interfaith panel, I kept in contact with the charity after the workshops finished. I did my work experience with them, made a interfaith film, trained as a cybermentor, became a part of the young advisory group and attended lots of different conferences. Also, I was recently selected to become part of their board of trustees, so now I am their young persons trustee.
Working with beat bullying, I have got to meet a variety of people. I have attended events to celebrate 100 years of the United Nations child rights movement and a conference for ukccis ( uk Councils for Children’s Internet Safety). Here, I had the chance to converse with other young people around the country who do similar work with other charities and also had the opportunity to listen to Dr Tanya Bryon and Gordon Brown at a conference.
What is cybermentors? (extract from their website)
CyberMentors is all about young people helping and supporting each other online. If you are being bullied, or are feeling a bit low or are maybe troubled by something and you are not sure what to do or who to talk to, then CyberMentors is where you can go for help. It does not matter how big or small you think the problem is, or whether you are being targeted online or offline, CyberMentors are here to listen and support you.
The best thing about it is that CyberMentors are young people too. It is never easy talking about bullying, and many young people have told us that they would prefer to speak to another young person if they could. That is why CyberMentors are young people like you, who have been trained and are volunteering their time online to help you. It is still important however, that you talk to your parents or teachers if you can.
If you want to talk about a problem you have with bullying, just drop a CyberMentor a message (click on CyberMentors Online), or talk to them in the chat room. The site is secure, and you can keep all your chats private. There are also counsellors available for anything really serious.