CHARCOAL DRAWINGS CONTRIBUTED BY YANA LAZAROVA-WENG
There are still those who are oblivious to the magnitude of the suffering these people and animals face everyday. Millions of Syrian refugees, displaced, many with nowhere to go. Women’s rights, an ongoing fight in society. Animal cruelty, a concern many are uneducated about.
The Students for World Awareness and Growth Club, originally named Art for Animal Awareness Club, allows for students to use their passion, whether that be photography, painting or baking, to help others in need.
By raising awareness as well as money, the club provides education on certain issues. Founder and junior Yana Lazarova-Weng said that she was really passionate about animals, which lead her to create Art for Animal Awareness.
“I thought that first, I would like to raise money to help the animals, but money wouldn’t necessarily be enough because not a lot of people know what’s going on,” Lazarova-Weng said. “So, it’s also important to raise awareness and to get the word out there.”
In the first month, the club sold their art in the School Within a School art show, raising about one hundred dollars for animal awareness. In addition, the Brookline Teen Center also offered more opportunities for organizing art shows.
Co-leader of the club, junior Charlotte Cahill, explained that aside from donating to organizations like World Wildlife Fund, they have also donated about three hundred dollars to the United Nations General Assembly to aid Syrian refugees.
Lazarova-Weng said that earlier this year, the club decided to change its name from Art for Animal Awareness to Students for World Awareness and Growth.
“This year, we’ve kind of opened up our club to more issues so that we can deal with more, so we can raise money for more causes,” Cahill said. “Yana actually works with the U.N. and we raise money for the U.N.”
A new member of the club, sophomore Anjali Mitra, who is passionate about animals and Syrian refugees, said that the idea of offering art in exchange for a donation makes people more willing to purchase their work.
“I think people do buy things for the cause,” Mitra said. “Having a motive, like all profits go to something, like having a cause, definitely does help.”
Lazarova-Weng said that despite the many causes and projects the club focuses on, the club atmosphere is very relaxed. She believes that the work is easier to do if you love to do it.
What began as a seemingly improbable idea of selling art to raise awareness and money for animals has expanded to utilizing one’s passion to address the global issues that affect our society.
“We need to put ourselves out there a little more and gain a little more support,” Lazarova-Weng said. “But I think if enough people are passionate about something, and enough people believe that they can have an impact on the world…the more people will want to be involved.”