Influencing Policy for Better Change.

International Development & African Diaspora


Emerging Futures: Days Ahead/Dyddiau o'n Blaenau/Siku Za Mbele

The project will support the the Youth Leadership Network to develop a youth-led imagination futures forum that will debate, explore and challenge narratives of a future where Western worldview is not the dominant one. The Youth Leadership Network currently involves people 18-30 from the African community and Diaspora. The project will create an incubator space for young people, activism, education and networking and will design and develop educational materials and resources to increase awareness and educate people in Wales and beyond with an ultimate view to create a fairer and more equal Wales that exists within the global arena. It will explore deep narratives that young African people involved in the network have experienced, tracing them to their colonial routes and create new narratives in their stead that promote equity and diversity.

Funded by the National Lottery Fund (TNLF)



Call Out: Emerging Futures

Days Ahead/ Dyddiau O'n Blaenau / Siku Za Mbele

About the project:

The global pandemic and the world-wide call for change and affirmation that Black Lives Matter threw existing inequalities into sharp focus. The future we want to see emerging from this pandemic is a decolonised one. But how does one begin to imagine decolonised futures when dominant Western worldview shapes our present and our collective imagination?

(SSAP) Youth Leadership Network (SYLN) is looking for thinkers, creators, writers, cooks and architects of a decolonised future to explore and re-narrate the past, present and future. The project will develop a youth-led forum that will debate, explore and imagine and design and develop art, materials and resources to increase awareness and educate people in Wales and beyond.  We will explore deep narratives that young people of African descent have experienced, tracing them to their colonial roots and creating new narratives in their stead that promote equity and diversity, nurturing a fairer and more equal Wales that exists within the global arena

SYLN are inviting young people with African heritage or links to the continent, aged 18-30 to apply for Days Ahead/ Dyddiau O'n Blaenau / Siku Za MbeleBursaries and join the network; thinking globally but acting locally we will co-create, debate, discuss, collaborate and map a decolonised future.

We are looking for diverse ways of thinking and experiencing the world, for different points of view and different ways of expressing them. Insights can emerge from different expertise and lived experiences, like a Swahili proverb says: Akili Ni Nywele – Kila Mtu Ana Zake; ‘wisdom is like hair - everyone grows their own’



We are offering bursaries of £1000 to young people aged 18-30 who want to work on one or several of the following themes:

  • Future Languages; how do we speak as equals, what are the conversations we need to have and what are the words that must be spoken?
  • Future Bodies; from health to food and gender, what physicality will we experience?
  • Place and Space; what boundaries will keep us apart, what will bridge and bring us together, and how will we occupy physical, political and intellectual spaces?
  • Eco Systems; what does it mean to sustain? Or to flourish? What is an invasive species and when the environment changes, how do we change with it?
  • Art, Culture and Heritage; what hierarchies of culture exist and how can imbalances be re-addressed?
  • Hybrid Identities; What does it means to be African/Black and Welsh? How do you navigate code and culture switching? How do you place yourself in the world?
  • Any Other Business; what future theme do you want to discuss?


In line with the aims of the project we encourage people of African and African Carribean descent especially those with links to the African continent and its diaspora to apply. We would like to amplify the voices of those who relate to the continent and its culture through their personal and lived experience.


Bursaries: £1000, corresponding to a rough equivalent of 10 days’ work

There will be additional limited funds available to cover material costs, to be discussed at the beginning of the project.

Application process:

This project does not ask you to come with answers, but with questions. It is by putting the first foot forward that we discover the path. To apply send a short essay (up to 400 words),or a video or audio recording that:

  • Tell us about yourself
  • Tell us your name/names – you can apply as an individual or as a collective
  • Tell us about yourself and what you hope to bring to the project; what are your thoughts and questions on the present, past, future, or the topics mentioned above
  • You can share examples of your work or links to examples of your work online or on social media that you would like to include to support your application

There is a Swahili proverb; ‘Haba Na Haba Hujaza Kibaba’; it is little by little that we fill the pot, don’t overthink your application, just see is as an initial step towards a conversation. This project is not about answers or solutions, it is about reflecting together and allowing thoughts to emerge.

Please send your expression of interest to by 30th November 2020. To send video and large files please use Google Docs or WeTransfer. Successful applicants will be contacted by 7th December.

Download a PDF version of the call!

We want the application process to be as equitable as possible and we pledge to make reasonable adjustments in order to achieve this. Please get in touch if there are any adjustments we could make or additional support we could offer in order to assist you in applying, we will come up with suitable alternative options together.

This project is a funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, with thanks to all our lottery players, keeping our fingers crossed for you!