M&C Saatchi charity partnership | 2019

We were absolutely thrilled to be selected as M&C Saatchi’s chosen charity for 2019.

As a small grass roots charity this partnership provided us with support in 4 key areas, harnessed with the talent of leading professionals from an international communication agency.

1. Fundraising

  • Help in raising funds
  • Donations from the business
  • Long term funding ideas

After an initial grant of £5,000, M&C hosted a plethora of fundraising efforts with a dedicated committee including; bake sales, a 5 a side football tournaments, raffles and quizzes. Some of the ideas were completely ingenious and others were individual initiatives for example a weekend brunch or Rich Orvis organising a team half marathon run.

These events were a constant source of amazement from the generosity of everyone, and culminated in raising £12,800 in total.



2. Skills exchange

  • Either in country (subject to annual leave) or remotely
  • Creating bigger and better workshops in camp
  • KAKUMA TRIP – Bespoke, because as it transpired – the best audience for the expertise that M&C Saatchi could impart was identified by working with former My Start alumni who had forged start up media companies at Kakuma refugee camp. 3 volunteers from M&C travelled to Kakuma in October and ran workshops with 4 new production houses providing teaching and support on brand positioning, marketing and how to create a compelling showreel. The skills and lessons provided allowed students in Kakuma to receive the highest quality consultancy a media company could wish for! M&C provided physical and digital resources as well as long term strategic advice and continue to keep in touch with participants as they continue to flourish with their fledging careers. 


3. Exhibitions.


With the idea to expand our existing network we created  the “I AM” competition around the theme of self-identity; to engage more UK schools with our students from Kakuma and respond to art work from the camp. With more than 20 london schools locked in fierce competition over the summer,  we provided the winners with the opportunity to have their work professionally curated alongside the work from Kakuma. The exhibition was specially curated by leading contemporary artists Adelaide Damoha and Shoelia Sokharnvari.

To find our more about our competition and see how you can enter please click here.




On our return from Kakuma in October, we hosted the ‘We Are’ exhibition at the beautiful premises of The Africa Centre; the home of contemporary African culture. We brought together a stunning collection of our latest art and film work from the camp alongside work from London schools as part of our inaugural I AM school art competition and invited London schools to visit throughout the week. Our private view was also a huge success and we are thankful to  the generosity of M&C Saatchi, The Africa Centre and an electric performance by Emmanuel Jal with TV coverage by BBC Africa.




4. Strategic Advice

  • Brand positioning for the charity
  • Marketing the charity
  • Tightening up the charity’s model

M&C Saatchi has provided invaluable professional support to us and we are so thankful to everyone from all the teams at Worldwide services for sharing your expertise, donating your precious time and raising funds for our projects. We are eternally grateful 🙂



“LandEscape” – Refugee Week 2019 @ Friday Sari Project

LandEscape: Friday SARI project

During Refugee Week 2019 we hosted our ‘LandEscape’ exhibition at the Friday Sari project space in Dulwich village.

Teaching in the desert has its challenges; it is a hostile terrain where it is difficult to sustain life. Everything has a thorn. There is also incredible beauty and solace and, in ways, if you know how to look, this can be true of almost anywhere.

In 2018 we undertook a series of workshops around the themes of landscape, isolation and barriers at Kakuma with a group of around 40 students at the camp.

LandEscape then became the focal point of our Refugee Week exhibition where we invited schools from across London to take part in workshops and learn about the plight of refugees living in extreme circumstances at the camp.

If you would like to undertake your own LandEscape project click HERE

Friday Sari Project presents a curated series of exhibitions and events through art, food, film, ideas and discussions.



Refugee Week 2018 @ Bell House

During World Refugee Week, (18th – 22nd of June) Bell House were kind enough to partner with My Start and host an exhibition for SSLP schools and teachers as well as hold a private evening view on World Refugee Day, 20th June. This included, but was not limited to Dulwich College, Dulwich Prep, JAGS, Kingsdale School, Charter School, the head teachers of all SSLP schools, the SSLP Arts Hub and other special guests, including UK recording artist Afrikan Boy.

The exhibition displayed art and films created by young refugees living in Kakuma, the world’s 2nd largest camp and home to nearly 1/4 of a million displaced people fleeing conflict from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan and The Democratic Republic of Congo. The work shared precious stories from the camp and showcased the incredible creative talent of the young people trapped living there. It acted as a connector between this remote and inhospitable part of the world and hundreds of students who visited the exhibition and took part in the workshops at Bell House over the course of the week; engaging them on the pressing issues of war, climate change and displacement.

‘I am thankful and inspired from my experience with My Start and the speech I gave at Bell House. I know that helping the refugees in Kakuma is more than a great cause and I am extremely excited to help and inspire not only the refugees, but other pupils here at Dulwich.’

Khan Amjad – Dulwich College

The exhibition also helped raise funds for My Start and connected us to an expanding educational network, which we will be working with over the next academic year with accompanying assemblies and workshops. In hosting our exhibition, Bell House has helped in this process; providing a rounded and contextualized perspective of the refugees presented in the art work, as well as the opportunity for UK students to learn, listen and produce response work to be taken and exhibited back in Kakuma this coming August.


We are extremely grateful to Bell House for hosting our exhibition and providing this important educational opportunity to schools in the Southwark learning network.







Going Nowhere At Dulwich College

Leading up to an incredible rowing challenge taken on by six-year 10 students here at Dulwich College and Sydenham we hosted MyStart exhibition “Going Nowhere” in the James Caird Hall for one week. Our students from Year 7 to Year 13 benefited from workshops in the exhibition run by teachers from the charity. These teachers work both in London in the field in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya – the second biggest camp in the work with the average person spends 17 years of their life.


“Going Nowhere” focused on Emmanual Jal’s (former South Sudanese child soldier) philosophy “My Life is Art”. This concept takes on many meanings at Kakuma Refugee Camp and the theme was used as a tool to explore past trauma, present challenges and future goals for those living at the camp. What also emerged was how resilience and the art of creating have become an integral part of how people adjust to their lives at the camp; through their environment, living arrangements, work, and creative expression as well as a focal point for projecting hope.

The exhibition included film and artifacts created in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya by the people living there.

Rowing Nowhere!

To raise money and awareness our wonderful students “Rowed Nowhere” on an ergo machine for 24hours. This began at 5pm on Friday evening and ended 5pm Saturday. Each rower spent 4hours consecutively on the machine without a break. Gabriel Rahman year 10 who spearheaded this incredible endeavour took the 1am – 5am slot. Gabriel and his team have raised over £13000 for Mystart.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the students and staff at Dulwich College and Kakuma refugee camp, you are making change happen!
A special thanks to our amazing rowers, Gabriel, Laure, Wolfgang, Darcy, Christian and Hugo. Finally, we are overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of those that have sponsored “Gowing Nowhere”. This will truly change so many lives. Mystart is a small but mighty charity. We are hands on ensuring at least annual trips to the camp to sustain and build our projects there”.

Amy and Tania Campbell-Golding
Co-directors of MyStart

‘Life Happening Nowhere’ at The Dulwich Picture Gallery

Join us for this special exhibition preview on World Refugee Day- Monday 20th June at 6.30pm

An exhibition of art, photography and film produced by young people living in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya brought to you by My Start with special guest speakers Shami Chakrabhrati (CBE) Claire Twomey (British artist)

RSVP: cottagek@Dulwich.org.uk


We are Kakuma – Wins Runner Up ‘Best Creative Response’

April 2016


We are Kakuma – Wins Runner Up ‘Best Creative Response’ at Imperial War Museum Short Film Festival 2016.

A huge congratulations to all our students who wrote, produced, filmed and edited this fantastic film which was short listed for the prestigious ‘Imperial War Museum Short Film Festival’ and went on to become runner up for the biggest category of the night ‘Best Creative Response’.

Judges’ Comment:
‘Our runner-up, We are Kakuma, was perhaps the most surprising of all the films, a frequently joyful short that reflected the humanity behind the daily headlines about refugees.’

‘It was a film that approached a difficult and challenging subject from a unique point of view. It did so with verve, passion and a creativity that made it difficult to believe that they weren’t professional film makers.’

‘A vibrant and visually exciting piece that conveys life for the students who produced this sincere film.’

‘A stunningly shot and sharply edited film that gives the refugees free reign to express themselves through the medium of film. Often moving and surprising in parts, the film has energy in spades, but also provides space for reflection and allows us to understand people who are not defined by their status as refugees’