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"We will be working with young people who have gone through gang violence or sex trafficking. It is important for young girls especially to have this sort of system"

Three South London women are on the hunt for a house to give 16-year-old girls refuge. The trio say they want to support teenagers who are on the brink of adulthood who have been victims of sex trafficking, gang violence or broken homes.

Led by Allana Ashmeil, 31, Shakira Ashmeil, 27 and Porsha Robinson, 29, PSA living is a project by black women for all young girls set out to ensure that the teenagers not only have a roof above their head but also receive guidance on how to deal with their traumas.

Speaking to MyLondon, Allana, 31, said: “Myself and two of my business partners which includes my sister Shakira and our friend Porsha, we’ve been wanting to do this for years. In lockdown we had more time to meet but we work full time.”

She added: “The idea is that because we have been working with kids and young children for years, between the three of us we have experience in regards to what’s lacking.

“Especially when it comes to kids in care, these 13/14/15-year-olds end up in semi-independent homes and after that age it’s harder to get adopted. The homes are there to make sure they have roof over their head, they’re fed and go to school.

“But they learn no key skills, they learn nothing in regards to mental health and physical support.”

Allana also spoke about the issues with care homes and semi-independent homes supporting young people from different religions and cultures.

She said: “Myself and business partners are all black and all had training in regards to making sure we are aware of religion and the needs of young people, it’s important to know you don’t know something and get external help or seek external help.

“In regards to the amount of money the Government pays these placements they need to use that money to get trained to make sure these young people feel comfortable.

It’s very easy to say for example we didn’t know that they needed a specific cream to cater to their black skin type, they need to educate themselves.

We are fully aware of different needs and know that even two black girls will have two different stories.”

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