Karl Lokko is not only a core team member of the Virgin Strive Challenge, he's also a close family friend with an incredible story. At the age of 12, Karl joined a London gang and went on to become one of the most notorious gang leaders in the city. At a certain point, he realised that love was a choice and he could choose to change his path. With immense bravery and a lot of love, Karl managed to completely turn his life around and is now an inspiring pioneer in the space of youth development.
An incredibly talented spoken word poet and social activist, Karl works closely with us at Big Change and he wrote this moving poem which really gets to the heart of why education reform is so vital.
Our country is bleeding, because it has wounded its heart
So what’s meant to give blood, loses it instead
Failing to send to the arm, the leg, to the head
We are all connected, and it’s going to take us all to stem the bleeding
So that our heart can fuel our healing
But instead we apply plasters, and now we have bandages filled with red
Our heart still pumps though, still loves, still does what it needs for life
It lives, it gives, it is
It is what keeps our lives alive in this 21st century village
If we lose the babes then we lose our village, our very image
No-one should be kicked out
because then we lose a doctor, lose an Oscar, lose a designer, lose our reminder
That if we lose you, then we have lost too
And this loss is a loss of blood
The nation is dizzy, for this is a lot of blood
Let’s open our eyes and close our wounds
For teachers are leaving and burning out
Businesses not getting what they need so they’re turning out
The community bowl is fractured
Let us open our eyes and close our wounds
And stop the loss of energy, humanity identity
Because eventually we will bleed out and lose our very life blood
A whole child is our lifeblood
And it takes the entire village to raise a whole child
And then in turn the whole child will raise the village to a state that is more than now
So we need no fortune teller to see our future, we can look to the heart to measure it now
We cannot exclude the misunderstood, for then we burn hope as firewood
Cold for warmth, what a vicious illusion, exclusion
Exclusion, as if ex-human
Human is potential, even if unqualified human is credential
But to destroy our own is inhumane, so who do we resemble?
It’s going to take every single child’s potential, so every single child is essential
So let us make the world parental, and see this as all of our responsibility
- Karl Lokko.
How do you think we can bring the love back in learning?