City Girl in Nature

by [email protected] in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £10,646

raised so far

147

supporters

Nature connection activism. Providing FREE ways to engage and connect inner city people (mainly young people) with the natural environment

by [email protected] in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 30th October 2022 we'd raised £10,026 with 136 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

With any extra money raised, this will enable an opportunity for a further reach and access to facilities. Help fund more individuals that don’t have the funds to have experiences that wouldn’t usually access.

I would like in particular to create more online content, including further You Tube series, with young people themselves helping to coproduce and present


The money raised here will go towards helping facilitate and organise nature walks, camps/trips around nature connection, help facilities workshops/talks in schools, create more online content around how inner city people can connect with the natural world; enabling access & engaging the community.
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Kwesia started ‘City Girl in Nature’ after a profound experience with nature on a British Exploring Society expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. Growing up in a deprived and inner-city area of London, England, she has faced several challenges which had a traumatic impact on her life.From being a young career to her Grandmother who had longterm health conditions, losing her Aunty murdered by her Uncle which is described as ‘Honor Killing’ to losing friends to Knife Crime & homelessness.

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The opportunity to travel to the Amazon came at a particularly low point, and in many ways changed her trajectory. She experienced for the first time, through direct and immediate encounter, life on earth teaming with energy and potential. This had a healing impact on her, situating herself within a greater universal whole. She began to breathe more deeply, her horizons more widely expanded. She was also amongst complete strangers, with whom she developed bonds of trusted friendships, having to work together and cooperate to reach shared objectives.

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1660411314_1660411293462.pngOn her return, she committed to providing similar opportunities and healing for those who come from a similar background to her. Because of many complex reasons, young people from black and ethnic minority communities do not have access to nature and the outdoors. They are often trapped in cycles of poverty and discrimination, with little understanding and access to spaces beyond their immediate homes and challenges. Many experience adverse childhood episodes that lead to lifelong debilitating traumas.

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Kwesia understood that she needed to build bridges between the community that she cares about and the environments that can heal them. She understood the power of social media in young people’s lives and the attraction to signifiers of respectability amongst her peers. She also understood that nature is not an abstract term or something that is remote from our day to day lives. That nature is within us, and on our doorsteps and streets. She knew that she had to make nature ‘cool’ again.

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She started upskilling herself on nature all around her and went on self-discovery and walks and visits in her community spaces. She bought together a team of black film makers and creatives and asked them to follow her explorations of spaces and places that she found healing, and invited some of her friends to join her. 

1660406915_2c31dd83-f737-420c-815a-302df81611e3.jpegThis led to her creating her YouTube Channel, where she met with different people from all walks of life and engaged them in conversations in and around their own local spaces. The diverse and multicultural people that she engaged with all looked like her, dressed like her, and many were having these conversations for the very first time.

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She started to integrate art, and style, and fashion, into her films to make her films resonant and connective. She met with other explorers doing similar things and to build new networks and connections – from beekeepers & polar explorers to urban birders, from forest hikers to neighbourhood gardeners, and developed her social media presence joining like-minded people together. 

She started to share these explorations through social media channels and visited youth clubs, schools, and parks, giving talks on her lived experience and ways to access nature and the outdoors, and its benefit to health and well-being. The innovative approach of having young people from urban environments, walking in their streets and neighbours, having conversation on nature and the power of healing, and developing these into memeable shorts and films has begun to change the narratives on who nature and outdoors is available, and that young black people like her have an equal access to seek wonder and joy in these spaces.

1660406796_86a5b2fd-2302-4f62-8b62-64a51ef227da.jpegKwesia’s YouTube films have had over 28,000 views. These have been further shared and viewed on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and What’s App (10s of 1000s) of time. She has spoken to a wide range of audiences from Schools and Youth Clubs to National Conferences.

1660412207_adventure+mind+2020-36.jpgThis has provided an opportunity to transfer knowledge- from young BME (Black Minority Ethnic) people from her community to large organisations. These large organisations are often not representative of diverse and multicultural communities, and Kwesias nature activism allows her to provide these communities with access to authentic narratives from a young Black and South Asian lived experience, supporting them to develop their own equality, diversity and inclusion policies and practice.

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And working alongside grassroots black communities, enabling and supporting them to access new and emerging opportunities. She has become an Ambassador for the British Exploring Society, directly impacting, and encouraging young people to undertake expeditions like she did, providing one to one coaching and support, and actively engaging with local community groups forming links and partnerships, including leading young people on Duke of Edinburgh Awards trips into the countryside.

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If you would like to help Kwesia on her quest, please consider a contribution to help reach further goals and community engagement. Thank you, love always x

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£25 or more

£25 Reward

City Girl in Nature Postcard

£50 or more

£50 Reward

City Girl in Nature postcard signed by the founder Kwesia

£150 or more

£150 Reward

British Exploring Society Water Proof Phone Case, Mug & Water Bottle

£250 or more

£250 Reward

Meal for 2 at Dawaat, Tooting London. Terms and conditions apply.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

Sponsor a day trip for 25 young people

£3,500 or more

£3500 Reward

Sponsor online content

£5,000 or more

£5000 Reward

Sponsor a camp

£100 or more

£100 Reward

TOG24 BURDETT BACKPACK

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