YGAP is an organisation I’ve admired greatly and wanted to get involved with in some capacity.
So receiving a call from their then CEO, Elliot Costello asking whether I was interested in creating a video to celebrate their ten year anniversary left me speechless.
During the process I had the unique opportunity to witness their highly contagious enthusiasm and I have to say, it’s no wonder their campaigns have been adopted by politicians and celebrities alike.
They are a force to be reckoned with in the most positive way.
What is YGAP?
YGAP is an international development organisation that was started when a group of friends got together to discuss global issues over a coffee.
They decided to they wanted to contribute to the world for the better, but they couldn’t find a charity they could align with.
So they decided to create an organisation of their own – one that aligns with their values.
YGAP, or ‘Y Generation Against Poverty‘ was born shortly thereafter.
The friends began fundraising and soon found themselves building schools in Africa.
While just about everything YGAP do is notable, for the sake of having an easily digestible read, I’ll break down a couple of their major campaigns.
The 5cent Campaign
In 2012, YGAP had discovered there’s $150 Million 5 cent-pieces in circulation and launched The 5cent Campaign.
A 5 cent-piece was “something that people would walk past on the street, vending machines didn’t take them, parking machines didn’t take them,” explains Co-founder, Kylie Wallace.
So they decided to launch a campaign to reduce poverty in Australia and abroad.
Their unique approach was to find local entrepreneurs and work with them to fund their ideas into sustainable business models helping local communities grow.
The 5cent campaign raised over 15 million 5 cent-pieces which equated to over $750,000 to contribute to alleviating poverty at the time I created this video.
Polished Man Campaign
When Elliot Costello travelled Cambodia in 2013 with Hagar International he met a young girl who had been a victim of violence named, Thea.
“Thea kindly painted my fingernails bright blue. And, after learning her story of violence, it inspired us to create the Polished Man campaign to support Thea and the millions of children affected by violence,” explains Costello.
Since its’ launch in 2014 YGAP has asked men and women to paint a nail during the month of October to support the Polished Man campaign and raise money for children affected by violence.
At the time I created this video, The Polished Man campaign had raised $3.2 million dollars since its’ initial launch to support both trauma recovery and trauma prevention for children here in Australia and around the world.
“We support children who are at risk of facing violence. Getting behind entrepreneurs to mitigate the risk of kids being affected by violence, ensuring kids stay in school, ensuring kids have a safe home to sleep in. Providing access to an eduction mitigates these risk factors.
We also support trauma recovery programs too. Supporting organisations here in Australia and all around the world that directly work with kids affected by violence,” Costello says.
Polished Man has attracted notable celebrities and politicians alike.
“From the Hemsworth brothers, to Zac effron, Kelly Slater, even Malcolm Turnbull last year. And over 85,000 people from 100 countries around the world,” Wallace explains.
YGAP have so much to be proud of and its actually hard to scratch the surface of their achievements.
I mean aside from the campaigns above, they opened a not-for-profit restaurant, Feast of Merit; merged with Spark International and worked together to globally empower local entrepreneurs.
Isn’t it just such an amazing outcome from a great group of friends catching up for a coffee.
By the way, thanks to those friends who founded YGAP: Elliot Costello, Kylie Wallace, Scott Duncan, Elena Critchley, Patrick O’Callaghan, Albert Tomassi and Sean Hanley – thank you so much for inviting me on board.