Ipswich’s youth organization ACYCLE says she is “desperate” for funding now that the money she was receiving from Ipswich City Council has stopped.

The African Caribbean Youth Creative Learning Experience (ACYCLE) was funded by Seeds of Change – a fundraiser provided by Ipswich Borough Council to initiate projects to improve the lives of young people. But those funds are running out this month.


Without funding, ACYCLE cannot continue. Pictured: Franstine Jones
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

ACYCLE, a program for children aged 5 to 11 from black backgrounds and from dual origins, was set up to help children feel empowered by participating in cultural activities and learning their history.

A festive event took place on July 20, showcasing the children’s new talents. But there were sad nuances in the showcase, because without funding ACYCLE cannot continue.


The children of ACYCLE learned African percussion, oral creation and the making of Jamaican pancakes

The children of ACYCLE learned African percussion, oral creation and the making of Jamaican pancakes
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“We are desperately trying to find funding – it is absolutely necessary. We will not be able to survive and do it without funding, ”said Imani Sorhaindo, one of the directors of ACYCLE.


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“We’ve kept the costs very basic, but resources that reflect duality and diversity, unfortunately, cost a bit more. Having a line of pencils that reflect all shades of brown, rather than going to a store and getting a few tones, costs money, ”she added.

ACYCLE has made a huge difference for the children of the local community, offering activities such as African percussion, spoken word, Jamaican pancake making and Yoruba language lessons.


The staff and volunteers who make up ACYCLE

The staff and volunteers who make up ACYCLE
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Aicha Lees-Dem, 10, was present at the event and explained what types of activities they participate in.

“We did cooking, Jamaican veggie patties, and lots of arts and crafts. We also learned another language.

“I really like to cook, it was fun. I have cooked before, but I have never done African cuisine. It was pretty fun to learn something new, ”Aicha added.


10 years old, Aicha Lees-Dem with her mom, Daisy

10 years old, Aicha Lees-Dem with her mom, Daisy
– Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Aicha’s mother, Daisy Anna Lees, says she is happy that her daughter is learning new things, meeting other children from diverse backgrounds and being enriched by the ACYCLE program.

“That’s good! I want my daughter to be as powerful as possible with a good attitude for self-potential.”

“There has been a 30-year campaign to introduce black history to British schools, so having an after-school club where kids can learn extra activities is really cool,” she added.

Imani says donations are welcome and can be made through Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE). For more information and contact details, see here


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