My Story as a Peacemaker: Reshini

 

Hi, I’m Reshini Primrani, I’m17 years old, and I’m from Richmond Virginia. When I’m not doing my peacemaking work, I’m probably on the ice.  I’ve been a figure-skater since I was 4 years old.

The injustice that I’m addressing is homelessness; but more specifically the lack of awareness about homelessness [in local communities]. I was 8 years old when I saw someone panhandling in the United States.  I was driving into the city, it wasn’t until I was in that urban part of our community that I first saw it.  I mean, it startled me.  It shattered this perception I had of the American Dream and it drove me to learn more first before I....before I could take action I knew that was the first step, I had to educate myself.

I started volunteering by making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches actually, every day for a few weeks in the summer for this homeless soccer team that a local organization supports. And through that I got to interact with these individuals that I never had any sort of interaction with before; having those conversations, hearing, honestly the similar experiences that we had.  Talking about pets, and siblings, and family members.  That’s really the thread that links our shared humanity. And that’s what drove me to want to bring that to schools, to bring that to my peers who hadn’t had that exposure and weren’t talking about it.

X-Out Homelessness has been an incredibly grassroots effort, the entire, like past 6 years of its development.  It first started as a one-day event at my middle school. And from there, from that day, when I got into my 8th grade year of middle school, I saw that a lot of my friends wanted to do this event again.  But also, participants from the previous year had gone on to high school, and wanted to bring it to their school. So X-Out Homelessness right now is in 24 chapters all throughout Virginia.

And, so, fortunately, I’ve seen my community become more accepting of youth voice, of youth impact through my work.  And I’m so grateful that they’ve been receptive to that idea.

You dig what Reshini is doing and want to start something like X-Out Homelessness in your community? Start your project here!