General

2017: The Year We Were Born

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[Brayden Sharp]

One of my past employers always noted how important it was to connect with people on more than just a consumable level; stressing the importance of treating people like people and being an actual person yourself. It is something we manage to forget to do so easily as soon as we enter the workforce and once you notice it, it becomes very difficult to unnotice.

With that in mind, we wanted to give our readers an inside look at how and why we do what we do here at 30 Million to None. This post will be a reflection on all we’ve managed to do  for the year of 2017 and what we hope to do in 2018 and beyond.

Timeline

Nepal

30 Million to None was conceived during my time volunteering in Nepal in April, where I was teaching human trafficking victims the skills of paralegals, as well as other skills that we use here in Western society.

The girls I worked with were incredible: they were always keen to learn and they were driven to do what was right. All they needed was the opportunity, which was something that the paralegal program gave them. I wholeheartedly believe that the women in that program will be incredibly influential in the future of Nepal, and their good work has already made the country brighter.

All they needed was the opportunity, which was something that the paralegal program gave them.

So while I knew that the work I was doing there was good, I knew my one month of volunteering wasn’t going to save the world. I needed to be able to help after I left Nepal.

The idea then was to create a platform that allowed others to learn about and join in the fight against slavery, and they could chip in to make the world that little bit better. A platform that didn’t make money, but made noise.

I took this idea to my brother, Nick Sharp, who created our first website. My days then consisted of teaching the girls during the day, and working late into the night to make sure the website was as good as it could be. By the time I left Nepal, 30 Million to None was beginning to take shape.

Solo Travels

After Nepal, I spent six weeks by myself backpacking through various parts of Europe. I went to some very remote areas and this gave me more than enough time to put the final touches on the site.

In the small Northern Italian village of Farra D’Alpago, 30 Million to None was born.

I still can’t get over how well we were received. The support we got from our family, friends, and strangers is still the highlight of this endeavour and we can’t thank you all enough for this.

The support we got from our family, friends, and strangers is still the highlight of this endeavour and we can’t thank you all enough for this. 

It was also at this time where I realised my first shortcoming: I suck at social media. This was easily fixed however, as I am lucky enough to have a sister who studies Media and Communication and was more than happy to take over that part of the website. Cait has been a major asset to 30 Million to None ever since day one and we wouldn’t be where we are without her. No matter what I ask of her, she gets it done.

Buddy Travels

Soon after launching the site, I met up with a group of my best friends to do some more travelling with. It was at this time that I realised another shortcoming: I couldn’t do this on my own forever. I knew I would be starting my Masters’ degree soon enough and that would eat up a lot of my time.

Thus, I asked Cait to put the word out to see if we could find more people that were keen on contributing to the page. Naturally, Cait came back to me within the week with a number of potential writers.

It’s a difficult situation for us to find writers for a couple of reasons. The first is that we don’t deal with money and therefore can’t pay our writers for their work. Everyone within our four walls is a volunteer and this isn’t something that is going to change anytime soon. The second reason is that we have rather high expectations of our volunteers. To be a quality institution you need quality people contributing to the cause, and this is something we don’t compromise on.

We may sound greedy wanting quality work for no return to the writer, but this is how the best volunteering is done: through pure passion for the cause. This is the best way to describe our lead writer, Martyna.

Martyna has been a great find for us, improving with every piece she has put in. I can’t wait to see what she does in 2018 and how her team grows.

Another great find at this time was Tom Dunn. Tom raises money for causes through adventure expeditions and has raised more than $96,000 for charity. I contacted Tom at about this time and we organised Make Noise Nepal together (more on this later). Tom is a great young man and I’m excited to see what the future hold for him, he’s exactly the kind of person that you are privileged to work with in this industry.

Masters’

I’ve never been more glad of my forward planning than I was when my Masters’ started, because I immediately got swamped by it. I was initially disappointed in myself for putting 30 Million to None at the back of my mind, as it was something I wanted to work on at all times. But I was quickly reminded of my team of superstars who took up the slack while I was busy doing other things here.

In all honesty, 30 Million to None would probably be dead without that team. Thank God for them.

In all honesty, 30 Million to None would probably be dead without that team.

But we are very much alive and kicking and since arriving in The Netherlands I’ve been lucky enough for 30 Million to None to allow me to have conversations with global players like Amnesty International and representatives of the United Nations. I still don’t know where these conversations will lead, but as soon as I know, you’ll know.

For the remainder of my Masters’ my focus here will be pushing our cause to these big players and seeing how we can work together to help the world out.

Accomplishments

Make Noise Nepal

MNN is our first fundraising effort that we’re conducting with Tom Dunn, with all the funds raised going towards the paralegal program that I mentioned at the beginning of this piece. This is another way for us to help the organisation that conducts the program from afar, and I’m more than grateful to Tom for agreeing to help out.

While we’ve had a slow start to the fundraiser, its something we’re going to be tackling hard in January and we’re looking forward to seeing the progress there.

The Nagle Student Series

In December, we published a four part series consisting of work from year 12 students from Nagle College. The work these kids presented us with was of great quality for people their age and they should be very proud.

For us, the Nagle Student Series was great for two reasons.

The first reason is that modern slavery was being taught within the classroom. Education is one of our two main goals (with the other being making noise) and education to young people is invaluable. We’re very grateful to Nagle College for agreeing to teach our cause within their system and look forward to assisting them in doing so in the future.

The second reason is that the young people that had their pieces chosen for publishing will be proud of their work and show it to other people, further educating the wider community. This is an example of education being mixed with noise making and we can’t ask for anything more than that.

Challenges for The Future

Writers

As I highlighted before, it is difficult for us to get writers that are willing to do quality work for no money. We’re going to be doing some serious headhunting early this year for writers, as a good number of us are entering our final year of our respective courses. We don’t want our consistency or quality to waiver because of our education, and the best way to combat this is to gather more numbers.

If you are interested, please contact 30milliontonone@gmail.com

Alternative Content

We want to stay as interesting as possible and we want 30 Million to None to be a place where people can come for not only education, but also entertainment.

We’ll be trialing a few alternative sources of content during 2018 and this will most likely be a trial and error process for us. Be patient, we’ll get it right eventually!

Final Words

It’s been an unforgettable year for us and we’re going to jump into the new year ready to make some more noise. A big thank you to everyone who has been involved with 30 Million to None over the past year and an especially big thanks to our audience: we can’t make noise without ears for our words to fall on.

The world still has its flaws, but there are heroes out there everyday fixing those flaws – and the world could always use more heroes. 

The world still has its flaws, but there are heroes out there everyday fixing those flaws – and the world could always use more heroes.

Happy New Year, be kind…

Make Noise

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