Global Youth Projects Becomes Global Populace!

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Over the past few months, since successfully completing our Indiegogo fundraiser and participating in a number of events benefiting Global Youth Projects, we have finally had the much needed opportunity to reorganize and improve certain aspects of our project in a way which provides not only more clarity and focus to our cause, but more flexibility as well. These improvements come through most obviously in the form of our new name: Global Populace.

The idea to change our name to Global Populace came from the desire to give our organization a greater sense of permanence and longevity, rather than treating each organization study as an independent project. While we want to use our projects as an opportunity to outline and emphasize the work being carried out by small, grassroots organizations around the world, we also want to be able to take it one step further by allowing you and anyone who is interested to have the opportunity to connect with these groups yourselves, be it through volunteer work or otherwise.

Through our new website, www.globalpopulace.com, you will be able to access not only updates on our current work through our blog, but you will be able to read the finished articles and summaries we’ve created for each organization that we work with through each organization’s profile page, including specific information and facts about each group in order to help you gain an understanding of their current work, their future goals and how you could become involved.

This name change comes into play at the very beginning of our first project with a children’s home in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar) where we will be documenting and observing their work for the next two months. Once we have gathered enough insight on this group, we will then publish their full profile for public viewing, including a complete article describing their work with photographs to match.

In order to receive weekly updates and information about this project, you can follow us at our blog provided at the Global Populace website and at the link below.

http://globalpopulace.wordpress.com

We’re excited to finally begin this part of our journey and to be able to share it all with you!

Exciting Updates & News!

It has been just over two weeks since our last post, and what a two weeks it has been! We have not only managed to complete our Indiegogo fundraiser and reach our final goal, but we also have put together a benefit show for Global Youth Projects at a local gallery which will be going up later this week.

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After 50 days of spreading the word about our project through emails, blog posts, Facebook posts, flyers and numerous meetings, we have officially completed our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Thanks to all of the people who were able to donate and those who helped us keep spreading the word around, we were able to make it to our final goal at midnight last Tuesday. Here we would like to take a moment to extend a huge “Thank you” to the folks over at The Big Idea, a Santa Barbara based non-profit, for their support in helping us reach our final goal of $8,500. Amazing things can happen when you reach out to your community!

As the end of the fundraiser was approaching, we had already started brainstorming for our next community outreach project. As a result, we now have a benefit show in the works which will be opening this Thursday as a part of Downtown Santa Barbara’s “First Thursday” event, a monthly art-walk which aims to support and celebrate the community of artists in Santa Barbara through gallery exhibitions and performances.

Oliver & Espig, a jewelry store and art gallery located at 1108 State Street, has offered to be the host to Global Youth Projects’ “First Thursday” benefit show from 5-8pm on Thursday, August 1. The show will include numerous framed works and additional prints by Robb (many of which you can see in the “Photo Reel” section of our blog) as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces by Oliver & Epig, and an information/donation table which will be set up to provide interested passersby with information about our project. A portion of proceeds from this event will go directly to Global Youth Projects to help fund future projects!

So, if you happen to be in the area, don’t hesitate to stop by the gallery! We’d love to see all of you.

-Kellie & Robb

The Final Countdown Begins!

After more than a month and a half of campaigning, our Indiegogo fundraiser for Global Youth Projects: Southeast Asia is now coming up on the final countdown with 9 days left to reach our final goal of $8,500.

Last week, Robb and I announced that we would match any donations that we receive for the rest of the campaign, which has already managed to have a great impact. As of now, we have managed to raise an amazing $6,400 with only $2,100 left to go. There is no way that we would have been able to get this far without all of your help, so once again, a huge thanks goes out to all of you!

With 9 days left to go, we are really relying upon the far reaching impact of “word of mouth”, so once again, tell anyone and everyone you can think of to check out our project and donate!

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In addition to all of the fundraising efforts, there have also been a number of exciting developments occurring regarding the project itself, including our having the honor of being featured in an online column by the Santa Barbara Independent a few weeks ago. In preparation for our trip, we have already purchased our plane tickets and are currently in the process of applying for our visas to both Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand.

We have also continued to have meetings with a number of local businesses and nonprofits receiving a great amount of advice and enthusiasm for our project and its longterm goals. As we get closer to our departure (which is officially on the 24th of September!) we are continuing to work towards making as many contacts as possible in order to let people know about the work we are doing. So on this note, if any one has any contacts that they believe would have an interest in this work, please do not hesitate to let us know! We love having the opportunity to receive advice, ideas or even the potential for future collaboration.

Thanks again to everyone for your support, we could never have gotten this far without you!

Kellie & Robb

Global Youth Projects in the News!

Great news! A few weeks ago Robb and I had the chance to sit down with Aly Comingore, writer for the Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, and lay out all the fine details of our project for an article in the paper’s newest online column “Fund Me SB”. Aly wrote up a great article on our project describing both our current and future plans for Global Youth Projects. You can check it out at the link below!

http://www.independent.com/news/2013/jun/26/fund-me-sb-global-youth-projects/

We have also made it just past our $5,200 mark which means we are officially more than half way to our final goal of $8,500 with 22 days to go! Thanks for everyone’s support. More updates to come!

-Kellie & Robb

2 Weeks Down, 5 Weeks to Go!

As we enter our third week of fundraising, we thought this would be the perfect time to give everyone an update on the progress of our Southeast Asia project!

First of all, we’d like to thank the 45 funders who have helped us to reach 41% of our final goal at $3,500! We are both very thankful for the support and interest that everyone is having in the project and for the advice that we have been receiving.

Over the last two weeks, one of the main concepts that we have been working with and developing involves explaining our project in its most complete, yet simplified form.

And that is: Helping Communities Help Themselves.

This idea comes from the fact that, throughout the development of our entire project the primary, underlying goal we have both had is to find the best way to help empower communities and the work that they are doing locally through photojournalism.

It is this primary focus which has led us down the path of creating a photojournalism-style book that aims to document community based work being carried out around the world in a way that is both beautiful and informative. And it is through this type of book that we will spread the word about the great work being done in the communities we will be working with in Burma and Thailand.

It is our hope that through this type of book, we will not only be able to inform people about the grassroots efforts of communities like those in Burma and Thailand, but that we will also be able to encourage and empower these communities by helping them spread the word about their efforts and gain the support of the global community as a whole.

As of now, we have 5 weeks left in the fundraiser and are continuing to make great steps forward.  Let’s keep spreading the word!

-Kellie & Robb

Day 5: Updates and Thanks!

We are now five days in to our project fundraising campaign and cannot express how thankful we are for all of the support and encouragement we have been receiving from everyone. So we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for your positive encouragement, donations, and for helping us spread the word!

As of now, we have already made it to $1,500 which is completely amazing and just shows how influential word of mouth can be!

We’ve also made a lot of head way in other areas of our project as well. Our travel plans are slowly coming together and we are nearly ready to purchase our tickets!

Thanks again for your support!

Kellie & Robb

50 Days of Fundraising!

It’s official!

As of this morning, our Global Youth Projects: Southeast Asia fundraising site is up and running! With the help of Indiegogo.com, we now have 50 days to raise the funds which will help us complete our photojournalism project. We have chosen to use the “flexible funding” method of fundraising which means that any money we raise goes to the project even if we don’t make it all the way to our goal. Robb and I are determined to make this project happen, so every little bit helps!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/global-youth-projects-southeast-asia?c=home

We have included a link to our campaign page above as well as a copy of our project plan and our promotional video. Take a look, donate if you can, and please – Spread the word!

- Kellie & Robb

OUR PROJECT
Much of the motivation behind this project comes from the work Robb did two years ago with a group of children in the Si Sa Ket province of Thailand through an organization called “Learn2Give” which focuses on improving education opportunities for children. Created in 2003 by a young Thai woman named Netting Supolrai, “Learn2Give” – based out of Bangkok, Thailand -  has since become associated with a large network of young people throughout Southeast Asia who are actively working to improve their communities. Together, we have developed a long term project which we have called the “Global Youth Projects” that aims to bring attention and recognition to the ambitions of locally based, youth run groups and organizations around the world. In the case of our current project, we plan to work with an orphanage in Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma) that is working towards the improvement of its community through constructive youth programs for local children. The project will focus its attention on the positive and productive efforts being made at this center by Phyu Cyn, the primary director of the orphanage, and her family, as well as outline its method of operation and future goals. The project will also document the stories and experiences of a number of children from the orphanage in hopes of exemplifying the impact the orphanage is having on their lives. This will then provide viewers with an inside look at the beneficial influence that the orphanage is having on the lives of these children and will show the great impact that they are able to have on the community as a whole.

HOW WILL WE DO THIS?
With the help of Netting Supolrai, we were able to get in contact with Phyu Cyn, a young woman who has inherited and been operating an orphanage with her family just outside the capital city of Yangoon, Myanmar. We plan to work with Phyu Cyn and her family at their orphanage for a period of two to three months in order to gain an understanding of the needs and circumstances of the children being cared for and of the efforts being made by the orphanage to meet those needs. In addition to focusing on the details of the work being done by Phyu Cyn, we also plan to include an introduction to Netting’s work with “Learn2Give” by working closely with her for one to two months in order to understand and describe the far reaching impact of her youth education program. To organize this work, we have been in contact with both Phyu Cyn and Netting and have received permission from each of them regarding our visit and project goals.

OUR GOAL
Through the completion of this project viewers will be introduced to an example of how youth run organizations are able to have an immense impact on their communities through the creation of supportive youth programs. Our main focus will be to show how the operation of Phyu Cyn’s orphanage serves to benefit the children they care for. To do this, we will visit and work at the orphanage for two to three months in order to establish a relationship with the directors as well as with the children themselves while gaining an understanding of the inner workings of the establishment and of the personal history of the children. These children’s stories will then be documented through Robb’s photography and numerous interviews, which Kellie will then compile into a detailed and comprehensive story to be published into our first photojournalistic book. We also plan to provide an introduction to Netting’s “Learn2Give” program in order to show how such an immense network of empowered youth has begun to spread throughout Southeast Asia and is making a lasting, positive impact on their communities. In the future, it is our hope that we will be able to duplicate this project in other countries as well in order to create an expansive image of the progressive community work being successfully carried out by empowered youth in communities throughout the world.

IN THE END…
By documenting the stories of the people we will meet during this project and by illustrating the positive impact that Phyu Cyn and Netting’s work is having upon their communities, we will accomplish a number of goals. First, we will create a comprehensive visual explanation of the promising ambitions of this orphanage and groups like it for the purpose of improving the lives of children and the future of the community itself. Secondly, we will give viewers the opportunity to gain an inside look at the lives of the children and youth within these communities, allowing them to see and understand the positive impact that sincere intentions and cooperation can have upon all children. By presenting this positive image of young people working actively within their developing communities, we hope to encourage others to make similar efforts to work with people not only in their own communities but throughout the world as a whole. For it is through actions such as these that we will continue to work towards a world which is ever more connected by mutual respect, common goals and compassion.