Hi, my name is Kasha and I’m 15 years old.
Since I was eight, I have always associated Mahatma Gandhi’s— ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’ with the inspiration I felt when I first heard Craig Kielburger, Founder of Free the Children, speak about the injustices he saw in the world and how at the age of 12, mortified by the death of a child labourer his own age, he decided to do something about it.
Now, nearly 19 years later, that something turned out to be an International movement of 1.7 million youth working on educational and development issues in over 45 countries.
I’ve now been involved with the organization for eight years.
Over the years, I have participated in social justice clubs with my school, went to leadership academy through Free the Children, the YMCA and also to various peace camps to learn about peaceful conflict resolution. I even started my own social justice club at the local neighbourhood recreation centre and met weekly with a small group of peers who also shared an interest in making a difference. We fundraised 4 x years for neighbourhood charities.
When I was 8 years old I also started a line of all natural body scrubs called Sweet Scrub©, which I began to use as a fundraising tool to raise money for various local and international programs dealing with all kinds of issues.
I learned a formula at camp:
Gift + Issue = Change
After a short while, I realized I had the skills and the tools to grow and expand my passion for social justice by using my talents and it was then I became interested in photography.
I earned money to buy my first DSLR camera through the sale of my scrubs and then started a line of photography cards called Kasha’s Cards of Kindness © which I also used to fundraise with.
This past March I went to the U.N. as a youth delegate to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women conference. I met many incredible women with so many stories and talents to offer. I wondered how the world was in such a mess with such creative people and ideas.
When I got back from New York, I saw a contest with G-Adventures & Planeterra to pitch an idea that would change the world. I decided to enter even though there was only 13 days left in the competition that had been running for two months.
I came close to becoming a semi-finalist but didn’t make it. Even so, I received very positive feedback and thought I would give it another try and that’s how the project I’m now working on was born.
The goal of The Global Sunrise Project is to travel the world for six months with my mother so that I can make a short documentary & book of reflections about what global citizenship means.
I’ll be telling stories of hope and resilience about people doing good things in their communities, people who also believe in ‘being the change they wish to see in the world’.
Along the way I’ll be using my photographs to help raise awareness and money for various projects and organizations that I meet. I have a particular interest in alternative income projects that help women lift themselves out of poverty. I am hoping these stories inspire people to (as my project mentor Spencer West, motivational speaker & author taught me) ‘Redefine Possible”.
This guest post was written by Kasha S., from Toronto Canada and everyone here at YSN is wishing her luck and hoping she never outgrows the passion she currently has.
We encourage you to visit and support her Indigogo Campaign to help make this a reality.