Yaser Martini

Charity art exhibition helps disadvantaged young people thrive

A formerly homeless Surbiton woman who turned her fortunes around is now starring in a charity photography exhibition which opened at City Hall on Monday.

Kismet Meyon, 22, was made homeless aged 15 after falling out with her mother when she attempted to reach out to her estranged father, and spent years moving from sofa to sofa across several London boroughs.

She ended up at a YMCA in Kingston in 2016, where she was scouted by City Hall and invited to join their team of Peer Outreach Workers (POWs), who helped set up the Power of One exhibition alongside charity Team Margot, which campaigns for people from ethnic minorities to join bone marrow and stem cell registers.

She said: “I’m really lucky to have had good friends to have always kept me going and to be there for me.

“It’s taught me a lot about life.  I’ve definitely gone on a journey.”

Along with the 29 other 15-25 year old POWs from diverse backgrounds, Kismet’s job is to engage, inspire, and gather opinions of young people in London.

The POW team began working with the charity Team Margot this year and they have worked together to help open the Power of One photography exhibition.

Along with patients and donors, the POWs are photographed by Cath Harries for the exhibition, which seeks to show the difference one person can make through stem cell and bone marrow donation.

In the UK, of patients with white northern European genetic heritage, 69% will receive cells which are a 10/10 match, while only 21% of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic will find an equivalent match.”

The exhibition is taking place in the Map Area in City Hall, and runs until Friday November 24 .

With thanks to Yaser Martini for use of the photo.

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