Through the powers of connectivity, the internet introduced me to Claire Joy of Oxfordshire, England. Claire is the founder of Our Kaleidoscope Planet. I was immediately drawn to her infectious energy (through an email, no less) and I am so excited to share her story and work with you today.
Liz: Let’s start in true Smile Project fashion. Give me a “Happiness is.”
Claire: Happiness is seeing my children make friends and grow, an amazing home cooked meal, an impromptu trip to a great restaurant with friends, grabbing a backpack and heading off in search of sunshine and adventure, a glass of Malbec, family camping holidays (even when it rains!), laughing, being myself, a lie in, dreaming...
Liz: Tell me about Our Kaleidoscope Planet.
Claire: Our Kaleidoscope Planet is a website and global online magazine for 7 – 14-year-olds that showcases the world, in the words of its children. We aim to create respect and understanding across culture, race, and gender for a brighter future. Alongside our magazine we also offer various initiatives to bring the younger generation together through art, books, and sport.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Claire: To sit down and watch, or read, the news today, means being bombarded with stories of brutality, violence, war, and displacement but sandwiched in between there is compassion, togetherness, and hope. My driving force is the future generation and how to teach them to respect not just their own nationality but others too. Some may be different, some may be the same but if they can listen and understand then they will grow to become leaders with compassion and empathy, creating a happier and healthier world.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Claire: To me service means being polite, listening, and responding.
Liz: How can people get involved?
Claire: We would like to spread our initiative as far and wide as possible, encouraging schools, organisations and individuals all over the world to get involved. To ensure we make an impact, we need people to join us and share the message! You can check out our website, sign up for our free monthly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Liz: Anything else you'd like to add?
Claire: We’re a start up (said whilst sat at my kitchen table, surrounded by Harry Potter Legos and children’s pens!) so we really do appreciate everyone’s support. We may be small, but our dreams are big.
Liz: Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice to leave us with?
Claire: I truly believe that you can never have too many ideas! Keep having them and keep exploring them...because one day, you might just get it right!