5 October 2016

We Should Be Promoting Great Ideas Over Identities

Think of an influential young woman who regularly features in the media. Irrespective of purpose or industry, it’s likely you know her face well. If a character like Miley Cyrus first came to mind, deeply consider the reason why.

Photo: Tricksware

Shameless self-promotion has not only become acceptable, but encouraged by social media platforms. It’s very unfortunate that modern day society spotlights bold and potent personalities, rather than bold and potent ideas that create positive change within our world. Instead of following and supporting the projects of young humanitarians, we are choosing to follow egotistic individuals who’ve transformed themselves into money-grubbing brands or ‘projects’.

I urge ‘followers’ to start being critical of the accounts they pay attention to. Ask yourself, what do I gain from idolising the selfies of ‘beautiful’ people? Most celebrity accounts wreak havoc on our ability to appreciate our own unique beauty.

Miley inspired selfie fail

Right now, you may think you’re not interested in learning about social change programs, but that’s just your current mind set. When you follow and engage with positive projects and change makers, you feed your own positivity. When you follow ‘superior’ individuals or luxury brands, you fuel the self-doubt and ego within yourself.

Why don’t you know the faces of influential young women who are shaping the world you live in? I believe it’s because their physical face doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter. They promote their beautiful ideas, instead of the face society is conditioned to pay attention to.

There’s a project that I want to bring to your attention in hope that you follow it closely. It’s called the Mto Wa Mbu Project and was founded by a young teacher called Lizzie Moroney. Despite being a finalist of Women’s Weekly’sWomen of the Future’ in 2015, and recently named one of Financial Times’100 Women of Influence, the general public wouldn’t recognise her face. This is because she’s too busy teaching primary students in Melbourne and Tanzania (Africa) to even stop to think about building a star profile for herself.

Starting to create awareness in the streets of Mt. Eliza Village 2012

First small charity event held at Morning Star Winery 2012

Look where they are now! Unleashed marketplace held by FYA @ Fed Square 2016

Lizzie is far removed from the selfie culture, working with young people to develop connections through face-to-face contact. She is such a big advocate for collaborative learning, she moved to Tanzania to live in a local village and share experiences with likeminded people. The Mto Wa Mbu Project was founded on the belief that we all harbour original ideas, skills and ambitions. By building a free community education centre in the village, Lizzie aims for people just like you or I to have similiar opportunities for self-growth and success.

Lizzie says "With the establishment of the community centre, we can have a free art program being run continually".
The Mto Wa Mbu Project came into existence five years ago, and still has a long way to go. Lizzie is currently seeking to recruit curious young teachers to accompany her to the site in January next year. Click here to read more.

The first building of the community centre has just been completed

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