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MAJA wilbrink australia & Germany, 18

Project: Heartsi
Basic Human Needs: Education

From a young age, Maja believed in the power of art as therapy and self-expression. One of Maja’s close friends who had emigrated from China shared stories of how she felt alienated and unable to communicate in her new home. Art had been her only outlet to convey her feelings to the outside world. Maja founded Heartsi, an online store and creative community to inspire and empower others to embrace their creativity. Every product sold on Heartsi helps provide visual art training to vulnerable children in Cambodia through a partnership with a Cambodian organization, Phare Ponleu Selpak. Heartsi gives the remaining portion of their funds back to the aspiring artists who created the products, and promotes their work and stories on its blog series. Heartsi’s community of aspiring artists includes artisans, designers and creators from all over the world, some of whom lack a steady source of income. Maja’s next endeavor is to establish art and dance classes in her local community in Brisbane, Australia. Students who have been struggling to find jobs can earn money by leading the classes, while disadvantaged children in the Brisbane area would participate free of charge. Maja wants to build a global community of youth who are passionate about art and pave a way for them to start Heartsi chapters to benefit disadvantaged children in their respective communities.