USA PRESIDENT Barrack Obama - Speaks to our young leaders in London

President of the United States Barrack Obama speaks to our young leaders.

Renaissance Foundation Young Leaders were invited to participate in a special Town Hall meeting in London with the American President Barrack Obama.

The President gave an opening address and speech to inspire the young people to take action in their local communities and to pursue issues they care about. 

Some of the group were able to meet with the president after his talk and also other inspirational guests who attended including actor Benedict Cumberbatch, The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and NBA Legend John Amechi among many others.

The Event was kindly hosted by American UK Ambassador, Matthew Barzun who visited the Renaissance Foundation centre and spoke with our young people in 2015 as part of our wider citizenship programme for the young people we support.

Visit our twitter page to find out more information and see more photos from our day,

RF Young Leader Favour was interviewed by ITV news about shaking hands with Obama. We cut together the footage with some of our photos from the day and created this youtube video below. If you like it make sure to subscribe to see more!

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Norwegian Ambassador Hosts Reception for RF Nobel Prize Young Leaders

The Norwegian Ambassador Mona Jull Kindly hosted a special reception for Renaissance Foundation and it's Young Leaders to report back and present their recent visit to Norway for the Nobel Peace Prize.  The event was at the Ambassador's residence in Kensington Palace Green and had special guest former England & Arsenal footballing legend Sol Campbell

The young people each presented about their experiences in Oslo Norway and attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony as well as the Youth cultural exchange that they participated in, Following the presentations the young leaders were presented by the Ambassador with Certificates for their achievements for this project. The event was followed  by a drinks reception where friends &  supporters of the charity had the opportunity to meet the young people from the charity to find out more, 

The Renaissance Foundation is actively developing partnerships for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize & Young Leaders visit to Norway please do get in touch with our team if you would like to have further information at the details bellow, in the meantime please enjoy the photographs from the evening on gallery by clicking on the photo at the top of the page. 

please visit our Twitter page to see more updates about the Foundations work! 

Twitter @RF_Tweets

To find out more please contact Natalie Hicks at the Renaissance Foundation

WATCH: Lewis Hamilton Talk with Renaissance Foundation about Nobel Prize Inspirations #MLK50

Released on the the Day of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton shares a special video made with Renaissance Foundation as part of our #MLK50 Video series,

Lewis kindly made time to sit down with TeamRF to talk about his inspirations from Nobel Peace Prize winners, Dr Martin Luther King, and meeting Nelson Mandela as well as how Malala Yousafzai's story can encourage young people today,

He also shares the secret behind his famous 'Still I Rise ' Quote on his Racing Helmet watch the video link here on our  RF Youtube Channel  

 Follow us on Twitter to share your thoughts on the video using #MLK50 & #TeamLH  


Bahrain Young Pioneers visit Renaissance Foundation

In Landmark visit to UK Young Leaders, a Bahraini delegation representing Youth Pioneer Society’s the Young Parliamentarian program visited UK Charity Renaissance Foundation at the HQ in Moorgate in the City of London.

This was an opportunity to learn about the charities work supporting disadvantaged young people in London.  

The two organizations were able to exchange ideas and experiences about the Bahraini delegation’s visit to the UK and to Northern Ireland, as well as how civil societies have an active role in supporting their communities.

Two graduates of the US State Department’s International Visitor’s Leadership Programme (IVLP) made this visit possible. Saud Albuainain -Deputy Chairman of Youth Pioneer Society, and Sat Singh – Director of Renaissance Foundation, met while taking part in the IVLP’s Engaging Youth Leaders in Strengthening Communities exchange visit to the United States last September.

During the meeting both groups discussed possible ways to collaborate in the future and agreed to work on a shared project to strengthen the ties between both organizations.  

Notes to Editors:
The Young Parliamentarian programme of Youth Pioneer Society of Bahrain is focused around developing future civil society leaders, promoting youth dialogue, and social inclusion in Bahrain.

To find out more please contact

Saud Albuainain | Deputy Chairman | Youth Pioneer Society

Office 105 | Building 1643 | Road 1727 | Block 117 | Hidd | Bahrain

M +973 38811555| F +973 13629769|W


Renaissance Foundation is an Award wining London Youth Charity which specializing in using Media and technology to support inspire and engage young people living with significant challenges in Health, Family and Education

To find out more please contact

Sat Singh Director  - Renaissance Foundation   RF Twitter   RF Youtube   RF Donate

T: +44 (0)020 3287 2069 M: +44 (0)7940 598592

Twitter :  @RF_Tweets    Instagram : Renaissancefoundation

Renaissance Foundation team go behind the scenes for - 'Suffragette' Movie

Please click on the image to see more pictures


On the 8th of October I was invited to my first ever press junket for the upcoming film Suffragette. It was to be held at the renowned Claridges hotel; full of history and royalty connections and therefore a perfect place for this British drama.

The 200-year-old building was certainly around when women were struggling for equality and fighting for the vote, so nerves started to kick in as Corey and I entered the entrance of the building.

However just before the exciting/nerve racking moment of meeting both Sarah Gavron (director) and Abi Morgan (writer). We were guided towards another highlight of my evening, the elevator. Now I know this doesn’t sound much but we later discovered that this was the oldest elevator still in use in London today, and if that still wasn’t enough it also had its very own lift operator who was extremely friendly and a very comfy sofa.

Anyway once the excitement of the lift was over we were taken to a waiting area, which was basically a converted bedroom at the Claridges. This was our first insight to what your money can buy when staying a night at the hotel, from marble decorated bathrooms to king size beds it was a great experience. But we wasn’t there for long as it was our time to enter the stage filled with cameras, lights, filming crew, posters and more importantly the director and writer. It was like a job interview that was being recorded but luckily I managed to blend into the background and let Corey take the limelight!

Watching from behind the scenes I got to see how genuine both these women were and passionate not only about the film but also about Renaissance Foundation and the work we do. Although we were their last interviewers for the day, they did not hold back and delivered great answers that you can see on our Youtube channel RenaissanceCharity. Just before the evening was over Abi Morgan very kindly asked us to contact her again, with the possibility or arranging something for the future with RF.

The one thing I have learnt from my experience is that it is always good to try something new, and for those who haven’t heard of the film Suffragette or not looking to watch it. Take a chance this week or the next as its just been released in UK and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Would like to thank the staff at Claridges hotel and the team behind the press junket, Sarah Gavron and Abi Morgan for taking the time to answer our questions. And on a personal note RF for giving me this opportunity.

Published by Sunil Chandla

Click here to see our interviews with Abi Morgan and Sarah Gavron

 Please click on the image to see more pictures

'A Royal Welcome' - Renaissance Foundation Visits Buckingham Palace

On Wednesday 2nd September, Renaissance Foundation spent the afternoon walking around the beautiful Buckingham Palace, where an exhibition was taking place of the State Rooms, an exhibition called 'A Royal Welcome'. The State Rooms are used for State Visits, receptions, Garden Parties, Investitures and for private audiences.

While entering the Palace, we had the opportunity to walk to the State Rooms through the Grand Entrance. An opportunity that visitors before us in the past never had the pleasure of doing so.  But before we walked through the Grand Entrance, to the right of us at the Grand Entrance portico, was the Australian Stage Coach, which is the actual carriage that Her Majesty uses to depart and return for ceremonial processions.

Walking through the Grand Entrance was like walking through a fairytale, the rich colours of red and gold heightened the feeling of what it would be like to be an honoured guest of Her Majesty. The Picture Gallery we strolled through with wide eyes was quite amazing. A vast collection of paintings from Rembrandt to Claude can be seen throughout this magnificent room. If you find and draw inspiration from art and paintings this is one aspect of the tour that you wouldn’t want to miss.

We soon stumbled across the ballroom that had been set up to show how the banquet hall would usually look like for State Visits. Again this was an amazing sight to see; the rich colours of red and gold made their appearance again, the tables decorated with stunning flower arrangements and the table settings were laid out to perfection. There was also a mini installation set up to show you just how much time and effort goes into creating this room fit for 170 lucky people.

After the walk through the banquet hall, we found ourselves gazing at the other State Rooms. The State Rooms had different colours and were one after the other and were filled with intricate decorations to match that of each room.

We were lucky enough to have a private drawing lesson taught by the talented Emma Finch on the lawn of Buckingham Palace. After a quick lesson of some drawing tips and tricks we got to choose the landscape we wanted to draw, the lake, the gardens or Buckingham Palace itself. Sitting by the lake in the Palace garden, was a truly surreal experience and an amazing way to take in everything we had seen that day, It felt bizarre to think we were right in the middle of the city when surrounded by so much beautiful wildlife and the smell of freshly cut grass.

We would like to thank the learning team at The Royal Collection for taking the time out of their busy schedules to educate us on one of the most historic monarchal buildings in Britain, and Emma Finch for her patience, knowledge and enthusiasm in the drawing lesson!

We had so much fun!

Please CLICK on the picture to see more images of our incredible day

Published by Lucy Korol Smith

USA Ambassador Matthew Barzun visits Renaissance Foundation - Our Young Leaders were inspired!

US Embassador Matthew Barzun with the Young Leaders after his visit to RF 

US Embassador Matthew Barzun with the Young Leaders after his visit to RF 

Dear Matthew,

I recall that you mentioned in your introduction that you would like to be addressed as ‘Matthew’ instead of ‘U.S. Ambassador’, (I deeply appreciate your plainspoken approach, it’s cool) 

I have been part of RF for a year, and I can assuredly say that no other organisation I have joined has provided me with the opportunities, excitement and friends that I have been so lucky to enjoy in my journey, so far. I thoroughly hope that this positivity was reflected in your visit. I had a great time at the event which I had been looking forward to since I received news from it. I can confidently say that I found the interactive presentation especially stimulating, thrilling and thought provoking to the extent to which I went home that night and actually research climate change in the U.S. - pretty extreme stuff. I thought, I knew a decent amount about the United States for a dubious teenager, but to my delight you proved me wrong, which I thank you tremendously for. The welcoming yet critical approach that was taken toward attitudes and ideas toward the United States, I presume was appreciated by all. I understand that as the Ambassador you could have given a regular presentation about the wonder that is America, but instead your critical and inclusive approach (which still captured this) was something I found especially terrific.

As with many of the young people you meet, I have vague idea (and a probably naive one in hindsight) of my future career at the mere age of 15, but I would really like to work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Having visited there (and been bewildered by the people), and done Model United Nations religiously for the past 5 years, I can positively say I’m intrigued by this world of cooperation, poetic speeches and espionage, (I would love to do some work experience perhaps?). Your presentation made me realize, that becoming a diplomat is not entirely out of reach and to my relief, you are a living testament that one does not need to have impeccable artistic talents to prosper in diplomacy (judging by the map of the United States on the flipchart – as I too, cannot draw to save my life). 

Finally, I cannot thank you enough for the spontaneous selfie, and on behalf of RF I sincerely hope you enjoyed your visit as much as we did.


Ananya Chowdhury

Tennis Legend Arthur Ashe's Family vists Renaissance Foundation in London

Last Saturday 11th July, Renaissance Foundation had the great pleasure of receiving a visit from Johnnie Ashe and his beautiful family. Johnnie Ashe is the brother of the late tennis legend Arthur Ashe, an inspirational figure inside and outside the sports world.

For those who don’t know, Arthur Ashe was the first black person to participate and win Wimbledon as well as US and Australian Open amongst other competitions. He started the ATP to fight for the rights of tennis players and dedicated the last days of his life to educate the world about AIDS and HIV an illness he contracted thought a blood transfusion at an open-heart surgery.

2015 marks 40 years since Arthur won his first Wimbledon tournament and to commemorate the date, Wimbledon wanted to fly Johnnie from the USA to this year’s final, what served as a fantastic excuse for RF to invite him over to give an incredibly inspirational talk the Young Leaders.

After a guided visit through St Paul’s Cathedral by our wonderful host Donna McDowell (a place Arthur visited during his time at London) Johnnie gave us the chance to listen to both his and his brother’s stories. These are stories of scarifies, self-improvement and achievements full of inspiration. The greatest pleasure of all was being able to witness Johnnie speaking about his brother with such an admiration and a passion materialising this way the legend Arthur is and proving that he was indeed the kind, strong and determined figure everyone speaks about.

We would like to thank Johnnie for dedicating some of his time to us and opening our eyes to such an incredible life. Also for giving us the chance of meeting his amazing wife, his beautiful daughter and son in law who made his history even more real. Last but not least we would like to send a special thanks to Donna McDowell from St Paul’s Education Team for being, as always, an incredible host


Please click on the image to start the slideshow of pictures of our amazing day with Johnnie Ashe. 

Sir Richard Branson speaks to RF Young Leaders at his UK home

Foto by Corey Samuel

Renaissance Foundation’s Young Leaders had the privilege to be welcomed by Richard Branson at his private home for a unique meeting in which he unveiled the secrets to success.

Fiona Hiyabu, Wahid Uddin and Abdul Qasim, are the 17 year old college students who where chosen to take part in this once in lifetime opportunity, as a reward for their hard work and engagement with the Foundation. They are part of RF’s Young Leaders initiative, a 3 year personalised support program which aims to help and inspire a number of young people with significant difficulties. The program includes mentoring, educational attainment and experiencing inspirational world-class opportunities like this one.

Showing their leadership skills and abilities learned at the RF’s workshops they prepared a series of questions for Sir Richard Branson, asking him advice for Young People like them. Branson gave really positive and personal answers, opening up about things such as his dyslexia and his difficulties in school, something that many kids struggle with today. His advice will surely serve as an inspiration for young people everywhere, which like him, want to achieve great things.

In this visit Richard Branson proved to be a very positive role model with a lot of wisdom to offer on how to succeed in life through: hard work, team effort and positive thinking.

Check out the video below and visit our Youtube Channel for the full interview

Young Leaders Wahid and Qasim participate in 02 Think Big Project

Wahid and Qasim, are two of Renaissance Foundation’s Young Leaders, who have been selected to take part in this years O2 Think Big Project.

Think Big aims to inspire, support and enable young people with great ideas; so they can have an impact on society while getting the hands on experience and skills they need to thrive in today’s digital world. In this occasion, they were asked to pitch their ideas for a project which would benefit their community, under the theme of ‘Get Digital’. They presented their ideas and were both chosen in between thousands of people to bring their projects to life. They have both been awarded with £300, which they will have to invest in equipment and expenses to develop this idea over the next six months.

Qasim’s project is titled ‘Famous Speeches’ and will feature a range of very different people in everyday situations recreating famous speeches. On the other hand Wahid’s one, ‘Five Minutes on Focus', will show people giving valuable youth advice. If the O2 Think Big jury decide their projects are successful they will grant them with £2,500 to develop these ideas even further!

With these projects they will both have the chance to put into practice the media skills they have learnt and developed at the foundation, where they have both had the chance to interview and film role models of the likes of US Ambassador Matthew Barzun, Mary J Blige or Martin Sheen amongst many others.

At Renaissance Foundation we are very proud to have intelligent, hard working and talented Young People like Wahid and Qasim and want to encourage others like them to follow their dreams and engage with unique opportunities like this one. Below Wahid and Qasim’s interview with US Ambassador Matthew Barzun

Renaissance Foundation Featured in BBC doucumentary about Tennis Legend Arthur Ashe

Prior to this year's Wimbledon, the BBC will be featuring a documentary on the tennis legend Arthur Ashe and Renaissance Foundation's young leaders have been chosen to featured in it.

Renaissance Foundation has the privilege to visit Wimbledon every year and witness of some of the worlds most intense and exciting tennis matches. Last year the young leaders learnt about Arthur Ashe, a tennis and humanitarian legend. Ashe was not only the first black person to play the Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, but also the first one to win them. He fought for human rights and dedicated his life to educate the world on HIV and AIDS, a virus he contracted in a blood transfusion during open heart surgery. For all of this reason we consider him a role model and an inspiration like no other.

The BBC are now honouring him with a documentary which will be featured the 26th of June on BBC 2, where RF's Young Leaders will be seen talking about their experiences at Wimbledon and what this incredible figure means to them.