Too often with changing the narrative it feels hard to know where to begin. At Kusini we always say start with yourself. If you start with yourself then it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. And small ideas often become big ones. That is why we are delighted to introduce the inaugural Kusini Inspires Black and British Impact Fund. A call for Black and British individuals to get creative and dream up projects which will make a positive impact on a small scale in their own communities.
The Kusini Inspires Impact Fund is a grant of £500 for a project which will make a positive impact in the Black British community. In 2020, there were three grants available. Winners were announced on Thursday 25th June.
1. Caribbean Meals on Wheels
Sandra’s idea is to provide a meals on wheels service of Caribbean food to the elderly Black community and the wider community in Newport, South Wales. She will provide a range of meals which will be ordered weekly and cooked fresh and delivered or collected. She will use the fund to hire a kitchen to provide this service, and a place where people can come for lunch and have that all important social interaction.
This idea has been on her heart for many years, as through her work for the Local Authority and conducting community visits she noticed that many of the elders in her community have upheld their culture – in particular their beloved Jamaican cuisine. Her idea was put on the back burner as her father’s health started to deteriorate and he required full time care. Sandra gave up her job to provide care for her father. Her idea stayed with her, but she often wondered how or where to begin.
During this time she often thought about elders who may not have family members nearby who could provide the type of meals they enjoy. Sandra’s father was one of the Windrush Generation, and the only centurion in her community. He taught her much of what she learned about Jamaican cuisine & always said taste is the most important thing.
Sadly her father passed away last November 2019 after living a wonderful 100 years and 6 months. Whilst she mourns his loss she can now pursue this very special dream of hers. At Kusini, we think her father would be very proud of her!
We love this project and think it will make such a special impact on the Black British community.
Looking after our elders and bringing them joy and happiness through giving them the food that they love is a beautiful and essential idea and we are delighted to be able to help Sandra bring this to life.
2. Visual Celebration of Black Life
Venus’ idea is to gather a crew of Black creatives (from editors and videographers to actors and painters) to create a video/short film that celebrates the beauty and joy of black life. She took inspiration from Brent Faiyaz’s ‘Gang Over Luv’ and Ari Lennox’s ‘Whipped cream’ music videos and was inspired to create a montage film of a group of black friends meeting up and playing a CD that shows a montage of their summer, from riding around London on Santander bikes, cooking food together, and protesting to working on business plans, styling each other and having a good time. It reminds us of a British version of Beyonce’s Lemonade!
She will have all types of artists involved, and everything they use on set from the painting on the walls to the interior design will be done by Black creatives. The fund will cover hiring a space to film, food and drinks for the day as well as an editing suite to be able to transform the footage they shoot into an actual video.
Not only is this generating a positive message, but it also gives Black creatives experience working as part of a crew. Many companies ask for videos or professional experience, and yet this is often hard to come by and can put people off from applying for positions. A short film created by a complete all Black cast and crew is motivational and inspiring to other black British creatives.
Not only does this film celebrate Black culture but it also celebrates Black life, the joy there is in living and our ability to RISE.
We love its message of joy and think it is precisely the celebration of Black culture and life that we need right now.
3. Community A.I.D
Jay’s idea is to use his network of young black professionals to help nurture the younger black community and develop their knowledge and confidence in specific and important areas. This will involve Black people who work in the corporate, entertainment and financial worlds in roles such as Sony Music, Barclays and more enabling young people to connect to relatable successful Black men and women.
He has developed a range of sessions that will encourage, empower and educate Black people. They will highlight topics that are often overlooked or unspoken within the community including:
finances and savings
how to start a business
mental health, wellbeing and self love
creative skills – how to master creativity and turn it into an income
The sessions will be run via virtual classes and also in person where feasible at a large youth club in East London or at the office spaces of some of the speakers.
The impact this will make on the young Black British community is huge and we love its scope and vision. Nurturing knowledge, confidence and practical skills among Black people particularly felt right for this fund, because its direct impact is so powerful, not just now but for the recipients’ futures.