Celebrating three LGBT+ projects from our network
22 / 02 / 19
07 / 02 / 19
I’d like to start by saying that being the Media & Communications Intern at the Faith & Belief Forum has got to be one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever been through – the internship has been the best possible bridge I could have had between school and university. Being a student / musician myself, I always had an interest in the arts and how organisations can help solve social issues affecting young people. Alongside many other things, the F&BF internship has opened my eyes up to ways in which more awareness for social issues can be achieved. So firstly, I’d like to thank all the F&BF staff for the most wonderful opportunity, and secondly my fellow interns who I now call ‘family’. I’d like to use what this internship has taught me and apply it specifically to a cause I feel passionately about: organ donation.
Following the sudden death of my father, I realised that life can be extremely short and we don’t have much time at all to make a positive impact on the world. Consequently, I co-founded a social enterprise named ‘Keep Our Hearts Beating’ or KOHB for short – to raise awareness about social issues, especially those that affect ethnic minority groups such as the one I belong to.
I named it ‘Keep Our Hearts Beating’ with two main meanings in mind:
These are our main two broad aims although we have been in partnership with other organisations that focus on other social issues + (we recently signed the Faith & Belief Forum’s Charter for Faith & Belief inclusion too)!
KOHB’s main project is an organ donation campaign in partnership with the NHS. Being an organ donor means you can potentially save up to ten lives after you die; more than 50,000 UK residents are now alive thanks to organ donation. I find it particularly concerning that those from ethnic minority backgrounds like myself often struggle to find matching organs: those from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to find that the organs donated to them are rejected, i.e. not biologically compatible. I believe people from all backgrounds should have an equal opportunity to get the organs they need to survive, but unfortunately this is not the reality. This can only mean one thing – to save the lives of those from ethnic minority backgrounds, we need more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to donate for more organs to be compatible and match in the future. The NHS have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about organ donation benefits – and how 50,000 deaths have already been prevented in the UK. However for some reason, dangers surrounding ethnic minority groups has not been addressed enough in the public eye. We’re fighting to change that – that is why the NHS have very kindly agreed to support us in our campaign by working in partnership with us.
I believe that together we can use the arts such as music – alongside social media campaigns to reduce the nationwide waiting list for organs and truly ‘keep our hearts beating’ by saving precious lives. I’d really appreciate it if you could get in touch if you’d like to support / get involved with our campaign in partnership with the NHS. If you are interested, please check out this video where I explain what motivated my decision, on the day of my 18th birthday (the legal age for donating organs), to donate my organs and tissues, as well as how my faith supported this decision.