Downtown Eastside cafe and partner charity aim to send 50 children from Mumbai slums to school

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Lost +Found Cafe

Lost + Found Cafe (33 W.Hastings St.) and sister charity the Dirty Wall Project Foundation present their new charitable campaign: 50 KIDS PROJECT.

The campaign aims to raise funds for 50 children in Mumbai’s Saki Naka slum community to attend school for the coming year. Dirty Wall has worked with many of the children in the five years it has run projects in the Indian slum. These projects include building a school, turning garbage dumps into community gardens and providing ongoing medical and nutrition support to thousands of people living in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“These are bright kids who deserve and want to learn,” said Kane Ryan, co-owner of Lost + Found and founder of the Dirty Wall Project.

For the month of June, Lost + Found will feature an exhibit with vintage Bollywood posters from iconic films of the 50s, 60s and 70s – purchased from a collector in Mumbai’s famous Chor Bazaar earlier this year. The posters will be displayed along with photographs by Ryan, who started the non-profit by raising funds through sales of his travel photos, Cindy Ryan and British photographer Sachin Khona.

“They capture daily life in India, from the grain of a paint-peeled wall to a bunch of kids playing cricket,” said Ryan. “Even the poorest kids know all the Bollywood hits, the words and the dancing. So it seems fitting. Plus, customers can give the gift of education and come away with an amazing piece of art.”

The posters and photographs are sold for $50 each. The total cost of each pays for one child’s tuition for the next school year.

Since the campaign launched June 1, seven children have already been sponsored. Lost + Found will feature updates from the campaign on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) throughout the month. The cafe also accepts Bitcoin as sponsorship payment, and has a Bitcoin ATM.

Dirty Wall Project Foundation is a non-profit charity founded by Kane Ryan in 2009. After travelling the globe for nearly a decade, B.C.-raised Ryan wanted to give back in one of the many impoverished areas he came across.

Disillusioned with the operating cost and ideology heavy charities he encountered, he decided to take a “see a need and fill it” approach and partnered with a local aid worker in the Mumbai Saki Naki slum.

For the past five years, Ryan has spent a portion of the year working in Canada and raising funds to do charity work in Mumbai for the majority. One year ago, he and his wife Salomeh Jalali opened Lost + Found Cafe in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, bringing a theme of travel anglobal stewardship to the city’s most diverse neighbourhood.

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