HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT TRYING TO SOLVE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS ON THE PLANET?
In 2005, recent UTS graduate, Clary Castrission was gripped by a trip to India and the overwhelming poverty inher- ent throughout the country. Clary returned home to Australia vowing to make difference. And he’s done just that. Today, his 40K Group impacts the lives of thousands of families throughout India.
Clary’s story is not about philanthropy. It’s not about charity. This is about tackling the most complicated of problems, a seemingly insurmountable challenge. This is a story of succeeding by using creativity, innovation, sharing a unique vision, leadership, teamwork and the power of hundreds of young Australians who are changing the world.
Ten years ago Clary decided to build a school in a village in rural India, following an eye-opening trip of the country’s poverty. Naively thinking he would need $AUS40,000 (hence the name ‘40K’) to achieve his goal, Clary fought through a mountain of obstacles to raise the $430,000 he would eventually required to complete his dream. In 2010 the Banyan School in a community outside Bangalore opened its door to its first children. The 40K Group had been born.
Realizing that building bricks and mortar schools was not a sustainable solution, Clary needed to create a new answer. In 2015, 40K Group now send over 300 Australian University students each year to rural villages to India. Growing to over 600 students by 2016, the students spend a month developing social businesses that enable local women to earn enough money to send their kids to school and utlimatley help these families to break the poverty cycle.