Living in Harmony

Who are we ?

The Living in Harmony team was created as a platform for young social activists that care about the green spaces, safety, and wellbeing of London. ‘Living in Harmony’ team took bold steps of advocacy towards creating a safe & better environment for young people: they talked to politicians, activists, influencers, journalists, and other organisations to create bigger and better change. We did research on our local parks and came up with very interesting facts & statistics through interviews and a SWITCH ID! The Living in Harmony team cares about the local parks and the fact that sometimes, they are not very safe – we want to change that. We want to feel proud of our public spaces and feel safe to spend our free time appreciating the green and fresh air with our friends. 

We brainstormed our ideas and came up with the pitch proposal that we presented to London Youth and London Wildlife Trust, to secure the funding we needed to make our dreams come true. 

Living in Harmony Pitch Proposal

On-field Social Action by us

Our Stratford Park Dream

The Living in Harmony team, together with the other Guardians of Nature talked about a dream that was very important to them: The Stratford Park Dream!

We asked 80 other young people about their needs and they all had one common answer: “That parks are a place where young people choose to go, choose to spend their free time. That parks are spaces that make them proud of their neighborhood and community.”

We learnt that everyone can be a good social activist if they show they care. Help us make this dream come true! 

The Living in Harmony team did not rest in pursuing their dream of making Stratford Park better. We went back to the park and conducted a SWITCH ID. We interviewed and talked to local people to determine how happy they are with the park and green spaces. 

100% Value Green Spaces

50% + were Locals

71% think that the Park is Dirty and needs Cleaning

86% Value Safety

54% Not Enough Opportunities for Young People

50% Think that the Area/Park is not safe

Our Stratford Park Dream: The Sequel

When we went to Stratford Park for our research, we got some litter picking tools with us. All of us felt proud for having made the park cleaner and better. In the beginning, every park looks 'okay', when you start cleaning you notice a lot of rubbish lying around, especially cigarettes. Some chemicals and rubbish can be very harmful to wildlife & children in the park too. Everyone should be responsible to clean after themselves - we owe it to nature!

Sign our Petition: More Green Spaces for Young People

As part of our work as the Guardians of Nature at Shpresa Programme we want our community to recognise that there is a lot to be done. We need your help to raise our voices about some issues that are important to us. Sign our petition for a better & greener London. 

What we want:

  • We want more attention given to green spaces and parks
  • We want to feel proud to be young Londoners, there should be more action taken to keep parks cleaner and safer 
  • We want organisations like Shpresa Programme to be able to organize cultural events with important themes like Nature, Environment & Mental Health 
  • We want Stratford Park to become our safe haven for most ‘Guardians of Nature’ activities

Newham Citizens Assembly - 11 July

The Living in Harmony team takes pride in being social activists in our local community, which includes talking to politicians and presenting on different important platforms for our community. 

On the 11th of July 2021, The Guardians of Nature presented to the Newham Citizens Assembly and made our case for our ‘Stratford Park Dream’. Our team members, Kevin and Jessica  were welcomed with applause and praise. 

This is how our team members were introduced at the assembly:

Aged 12, Jess is a young leader at the Shpresa Progamme and Telco. She's active in the Keep it Wild Project, working hard to make Stratford Park a safer place. This project helps people enjoy and reconnect with nature. Jess has been busy conducting surveys to find out what people want in their parks, for example cafes in the park with wifi. Her mum and brothers are her inspiration as she's watched them get involved in nature-based activities too. Jess goes to St Angela's Ursuline School.

Also a young leader for the Shpresa Programme and Telco, Kevin is 14 and goes to School 21 in Stratford. He is especially keen for more people to feel safe in parks and have access to quality sport and art activities there. He’s learning how to organise to fix this and more about how the world works in general. Kevin is a strong advocate for the the Keep it Wild Project and was part of Youth Safety Commission working group with TELCO and Newham council.

Talking to Politicians

As part of the Living in Harmony team, in our initial pitch we expressed that it was necessary for our project to talk to politicians, influencers and activists. Throughout all the work that Living in Harmony has done we have talked to Politicians, influencers and activist as part of our advocacy journey for green spaces and wildlife. 

This is a good example of the conversations we have been having. Our young green ambassador in Albania, Erik, had a conversation on green spaces, nature & the environment with the Mayor of Burrel, a city in Albania. They talked about youth involvement in environmental causes, and decision-making on green spaces, forest exploitation, pollution, and how important it is to have harmony between all of us and nature. 

"Harmony is about relationships we have with each other. If we protect nature and always are caring towards it, we will have a very good relationship with nature."

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