Every month I sit down to produce this report for villagers, to catch them up on what's happened within the village and what we plan to do next. I hope you enjoy learning what we've achieved in the month.
We hit our first hyper-growth spurt this month and can confidently say we were more than able to take on the added weight of this influx of new villagers.
Our growth strategy is designed for growth in cycles. This means we expect there to be multiple periods in which we take on a sharp uptick in new villagers, and we respond to that by entering a cool-down period. In this cool-down period, we turn our focus to the foundational village structure and away from marketing. Doing this means we ensure the integrity and sustainability of the village and we don't sacrifice it for quick growth.
Food support for 250 homes in West Africa
Due to a lack of social welfare for many citizens across West Africa, government-sanctioned lockdowns have left many without the ability to support their households. We set out to provide our own social cushion by procuring and distributing one-weeks worth of food supplies to 250 homes across five countries in West Africa.
You can view more project updates on the project page
We didn't manage to hit our target of 250 homes within the month, but it has been a win in many other ways. It has proved we can mobilise and deliver projects internationally and it has also led to us developing relationships with border officials in Nigeria, Togo and Benin which will serve us as we output projects and programmes in the future. We also managed secure bulk supplies for one orphanage in Togo, and one juvenile correction facility in Nigeria.
We will be keeping this project alive until its completion.
Digital group-therapy space for black people
Taboos surrounding therapy, and the cost of therapy can act as a barrier to entry for many in black communities. We set out to relieve individuals who may benefit from therapy, of this cost by creating a free digital group therapy space. The aim was to produce a two-session pilot which would serve 4 participants. We eventually extended this to 4 sessions (2 for Black women, and 2 for Black men).
Anonymous feedback from the men's group.
"The impact has definitely been positive. I've been feeling alot more open to have discussions with people in my life about things that are going wrong."
"I think the biggest surprise for me was how open everyone was from day one. I thought the first day would be a bit awkward."
"I would like to see a few more people attend the sessions. 8 I think would be maximum I'd personally prefer."
The pilots were a success, and we'll be turning this into our first permanent programme. The details are not finalised, but we're aiming to host four different groups which will serve the categories: Black LGBTQ, Black men, Black women and Black teenagers. This group courses will run for six weeks and serve 4-6 participants at a time.
We'll be hiring for a project coordinator who will oversee this programme.
Previously fundraising on Kwanda was a very manual process and we used our earlier fundraisers as pilots to test and improve our fundraising product. We're now in a much better place and are able to deploy multiple fundraisers pretty effectively. This month we hosted 3 new fundraisers for various organisations and raised over £15,000.
Raising money for black-led social enterprises
Raising funds for the BCM Hub
You can view live fundraisers on our fundraisers page
What's our plan for next month:
Delivering grants to black key-workers in the UK
As some of you may know we hosted BYP network in raising over £25,000 for black households which have family members risking their lives to work due to financial insecurities.
We're now going to be taking over the fundraiser and distribution of £12,000 in grants. We'll make this a mini-project (not needing a vote), so we're able to allocate some team time to the delivering of the grants
Upcoming projects and programmes
We're finishing up proposals for the next set of projects and programmes to kick start the month. We won't put all the votes up at once as we need to make sure we have enough capacity to manage the existing projects, but here are some Kwanda projects we're thinking about.
- £1000 business grants for black-owned businesses.
- Building a sustainable, low-cost foodbank in Lagos, Nigeria, using shipping containers.
- Covering schooling costs for several students in Ghana.
- Taking over the running costs of a Juvenile home in Nigeria.
- Developing a person to person mentoring product for black communities.
We've started thinking about what our first physical space could look like. A mix between a co-working space in the day and a cultural space in the evening seems like the most economical approach. Physical space will be a crucial unblocker as we evolve to produce permanent and recurring workshops, talks, events and more. We're not making this a priority but would be interested in speaking to anyone who might be able to help us in finding and securing the perfect physical space.
I won't go as far as saying Kwanda is a household name, but it's clear Kwanda is a solution that resonates and is welcome. It's been amazing to see people of all backgrounds come together this month in support of black people and our communities.
I genuinely believe the work we do here will one day be of great benefit to the world. I'm excited for those who are receiving this email for the first time and doubly enthusiastic and grateful for those who received our first report in February and have been evangelists, and drivers of our growth ever since.
I hope you enjoyed this months report. I'm looking forward to our 6th month in operation.
The more villagers we have the more reliable our structure becomes for black communities. If you haven't already I urge you to join us.
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