Three weeks with Be Enriched – Kemi Akinola CEO

The past three weeks have been truly exciting, tiring, exhausting, elating and full of eating.

It started in Sicily. Be Enriched works with youth organisations from around Europe to bring young people together through intercultural projects. We aim to take part in at least two a year and this year it is Sicily. As the CEO I am often burdened with having to travel around Europe, prior to the projects taking place, to risk assess and ensure projects are suitable and safe for the youth to go to. So off to sicily I went in late May. Travelling through the beautiful mountains  and sea on a bus from the airport one couldn’t help but wonder about how it must have been when the MAFIA were in charge. However these thoughts dissipated once i arrived in the city and was picked up by a man on a moped who whizzed me through the town and dropped me off at a table full of international youth workers. We had a fab 3 days getting to know the city and understand the human rights project that the youth will be undertaking later this month. The biggest excitement was the announcement that we would take part in Sicilian gay pride!

Arriving home on Thursday and then set out on part 2 on Friday Morning

I was lucky enough to have been selected to go on a Big Lunch Extra project at the Eden Project in Devon. Looking back I would describe it as a pampering weekend for community activists. Four days of workshops, food, walks, food, activities, food and we slept in revamped shipping containers and did I mention the food? I met some amazing people from around the UK doing brilliant stuff to create, improve and restore their communities and environments. I came back feeling inspired and energised. Which was just as well…

As you may have read Be Enriched now incorporates Brixton Peoples Kitchen and a new project The Graveney Canteen . Both are food projects in Lambeth and Wandsworth, respectively and both use reclaimed, surplus and excess food to feed the community. This week was the opening events for both kitchens and we were lucky enough to score support in the form of 4 apprentice chefs from Jaimie Olivers’ Fifteen restaurant. We had a BPK supperclub (@BrixtonPK) , followed by The Graveney Canteen opening (@graveneynetwork) followed by a Big Lunch Street party(@be_enriched) all in one week. I’ll let the photos do the talking because I did a lot that week. The food was amazing and delectable, the company was interesting and intelligent (most of the time) and the organisers were totally rushed off their feet. But being swept away in the midst of community activities is exactly where I like to be.

So, What next? SLEEP! And then delivering projects, creating more partnerships and collaborating with the community.

For up to date info about any of our projects or if you are interested in working or volunteering please go to our website http://www.be-enriched.org.uk/ and click on The Buzz. Its all there!


Visual illustration of my general ideas


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