SITTING DOWN AND CHATTING WITH THE INSPIRED MINDS BEHIND THE Y PROJECT, MY FAITH IN HUMANITY WAS RESTORED. I WAS SO CAUGHT UP IN THEIR PASSION AND GENUINE DESIRE TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THE WORLD. THE LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING EACH OF THEM HAD ABOUT GLOBAL SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES AND THE WAY IN WHICH THEY EXPRESSED THIS WAS MORE THAN ADMIRABLE. IF THEY WEREN’T STILL DRESSED IN THEIR SCHOOL UNIFORMS, I WOULD HAVE MISTAKEN THEM FOR BEING MUCH OLDER. NOT THAT AGEING EQUATES TO INTELLIGENCE, BUT I WAS SURPRISED BY THEIR LEVEL OF MATURITY AND THE WORKLOAD THEY HAVE TAKEN ON, CONSIDERING THEY’RE CURRENTLY STUDYING FOR THE DREADED HIGHER SCHOOL CERTIFICATE.
‘For youth interested in making a change,’ The Y Project consists of Mae Anagnostis, Luisa Amosa and Charlotte Boulus, alongside a growing number of volunteers.
The Y Project works on a range of social justice programs to benefit Australia and the wider world, starting off locally, run by youth. They have discussed awareness nights, gigs and different campaigns focusing on certain issues. They want to celebrate the opportunity to educate young people about the importance of taking things into your own hands and running with it.
Putting this into practice, The Y Project recently put on a local gig ‘Civil Thrill’, raising $2000 for Preemptive Love, who ‘bring relief to families in Syria and Iraq’.
While they all had different upbringings, Mae, Luisa and Charlotte agreed on being influenced by their schools and socially aware parents when trying to pinpoint where their interest in social justice issues originated.
Mae has helped communities overseas in Indonesia and India on mission trips, and returning home wanted to continue enriching the lives of others less fortunate. Deciding to reach out to Luisa, who attended the same primary school, Mae shared her desire for change. Luisa brought along her friend Charlotte, and now the three are using their voices to educate others and create positive changes.
Wanting to educate, entertain and empower youth, Mae, Luisa and Charlotte focus on raising awareness for non-government organisations that people may have not already heard of and that focus on important issues.
Luisa described herself as being empathetic as a child. ‘My mum is an education lecturer; my dad is an immigrant from New Zealand. We visited a lot of indigenous communities and the experience and my parents taught me that there are people in the world who have less than I do.’ After a mission trip to Borneo, Luisa wasn’t fulfilled after realising what they provided was money to those in charge, rather than building and helping communities.
They’ve begun to establish a community around the idea of helping communities with The Y Project. ‘You can’t have a community without collaboration,’ Luisa explained. The group works with local artists, musicians, photographers and people just wanting to offer a helping hand, and are noticeably grateful for everyone who jumps on board.
While they’re working around the HSC, The Y Project have a few ideas they hope to act on in the future, including Charlotte working on a website, a beach clean-up for local beaches with live music involved, a Christmas gig, and plans to collaborate with local NGOs.
Describing the Newcastle music scene as having exclusive pockets of people, The Y Project hopes to break down barriers and collaborate with anyone willing to support their ethos of making a change and creating a community.
Connect with The Y Project via Facebook if you’d like to get involved – they encourage anyone and everyone to get in touch! facebook.com/thenewyYprojec