A group of young people with learning disabilities have created a heartfelt film showing that nobody should be bullied because of their differences.
Janine Carapatan, 18, and her team from Belfast want to show that they each have individual likes and dislikes but are all united in their hatred of bullying.
‘We made the film with Fixers to raise awareness of bullying and make sure all young people know it is wrong to make other people feel excluded because of their differences,’ she says.
In the film, Janine and her friends list the variety of things they enjoy doing.
‘I like going out shopping and travelling to different places,’ says Janine.
‘It is important to highlight to other young people in our communities that we all have our own identities and it is important to respect our likes, dislikes, similarities and differences.
‘I want to do something that says to the world that people are different and that’s okay. No one should be bullied because of their differences.’
Janine hopes the film will show how harmful verbal bullying can be.
‘I want people to understand that the old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is only half right,’ she says.
‘Bullying by name calling can cause long term and lasting psychological damage.
‘If you’re being bullied, you should tell your parents or an adult.’
The group plans to launch their film at an event at the Mencap Northern Ireland centre in Knockbreda at a date to be confirmed.
Mencap youth worker Jacqui Clarke says: ‘I feel really proud of all the young people who participated in this short film.
‘As a society, we all have similarities and differences and it is really important to capture these and celebrate our identities without discrimination.
‘We all have different needs but we are all a part of the same world.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.