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!
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
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.
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.