S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Project

by Kay Rufai in London, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,554

raised so far



It aims to empower young Black boys with tools to manage their mental health and also challenge the negative stereotypes of black boys

by Kay Rufai in London, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 4th October 2020 we'd raised £285 with 14 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


Who Is The Artist

Kay Rufai is a Photographer, Poet, Filmmaker, Author, Creative facilitator and Mental Health researcher whose work spans the past 5 years in a handful of countries including the UK, USA, Ethiopia, Bhutan, Germany, Scandinavia, Nigeria and Colombia.

He has spent the past 3 years exploring the intersection between culture, identity, racial emancipation, mental health and community cohesion through art, photography, educational workshops and public events. His work has been featured in the Guardian, BBC, The Voice and various national and international press coverage.


What Does The Project Entail

The S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Project is an 8 -week long happiness well-being researched  creative art project that uses photography, poetry, film and discussions to empower 13 year old black boys with tools to improve their mental health, emotional literacy, raise aspirations and build positive identity as black boys. 

The project will work with 20 Year 9 (13 year old) black boys at a time for 8 weeks, resulting in a series of portraits captured based on trust building with the artist, poems, illustrations and podcast audio created collaboratively with the participants, to be exhibited in their communities as well as on a national scale. 

The Vision

The vision of the project is to see images of smiling black boys normalised across popular media.


In light of the BLM movement and the impact of Covid-19 on the Black community, this project is so much more relevant in these times to address the systemic and institutional racism that disproportionally posits black boys as the most affected in the education, mental health & criminal justice services and institutions.

Impact So Far


What Will Your Money Pay For?

The money raised will be used to deliver five 8-week long projects (a total of 40 workshops) in 5 schools across London. This will directly benefit 100 black boys with tools to improve their mental health, tangible creative skills in photography, poetry and film as well as providing cameras for the participants.

The money will also pay for a community based exhibition, art trips, a celebration meal and completion prizes for the participants.









This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 Reward

A digital A5 S.M.I.LE Portrait with a personalised thank you note from the artist.

£500 or more

5 A3 Prints

You will choose any 5 A3 Prints & Thank You Video from participants

£1,000 or more

Exhibition Invite & Name Credits

You will be specially invited to the community exhibition with your name in the sponsor credits on the opening notes. Digital and A4 prints of 3 portraits of choice and a collage print.

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