Cousin of murdered teen Fico Dougan leads tributes at own youth project event
A teenager has used a youth project she set up when she was just 12 to celebrate the life of her cousin who was stabbed to death earlier this year.
Fico Dougan, 17, died after being stabbed just minutes after arriving at a house in Ockley Road, Croydon, on September 15.
On Saturday, December 7, friends and family of Mr Dougan packed St Mark’s Church Hall in Mitcham at an event run by the 1Way project to pay tribute to the teen and enjoy entertainment from rap artists and singers.
His cousin, Deborah Kormi from Mitcham, was just 12 when she set up the project with the aim of bringing young people together to support each other and keep off the streets.
The project started with weekly events in her living room however as word spread the project grew and in 2011 Miss Kormi moved the event to St Mark’s Church Hall where each month ex-gang members and drug dealers would come to share their past experiences.
The former St Mark's Academy student, now 16, said: "After the riots it made me really concerned about young people.
"So I thought organising an evening like this would help bring awareness to young people and get them on track with their education and with life.
"Lots of young people feel like hanging about on roads is going to take them somewhere but it won’t.
"I started it in my home and just started telling people at my high school to come along every Thursday and eventually they told their friends and different people from different schools started to come in.
"It was about word of mouth really."
Speaking about the event held in memory of her cousin Miss Kormi said: "I didn’t want the atmosphere to be sad.
"At the end we just played music.
"We gave people that wanted to speak the opportunity to share memories to come up and speak about him."
Since the death of her cousin Miss Kormi has said she is even more motivated to help in the fight against knife crime and violence and said in the future she would like to reach out to schools.
She said: "I always hear about lots of people getting stabbed and I just hate knife crime and gang crime in the UK.
"All the time I hear about people getting stabbed.
"As soon as I hear it I get angry and think this needs to stop.
"Now it has hit my family I feel like it's motivated me more to continue to help prevent it."
A 16-year-old boy from Mitcham has been charged with Fico's murder and is expected to enter a plea at the Old Bailey next week.
Tribute lain at the spot where Fico was killed in Broad Green, Croydon.