An RMIT student is aiming to help reduce youth homelessness through crêpes and coffee.
Second-year Bachelor of Communication (Media) student Mollie Cowell is one of the founding members of Crêpes for Change.
The brain-child of Melbourne entrepreneur Dan Poole, Crêpes for Change is a not-for-profit crepe and coffee business with 100% of the profits going towards youth homelessness.
The team hope to raise enough funds through a crowd-funding campaign to purchase a van that will roam Victoria’s streets, markets and festivals.
Ms Cowell said the idea was born out of disillusionment with the traditional charity model.
“We wanted to achieve more, and so Crêpes for Change was born,” she said.
“We were shocked by the number of underprivileged young Australians who were homeless, at risk of homelessness or unable to find work in our lucky country.”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 40,000 Australians are homeless, and of those, 20,000 are said to be youth and children.
Ms Cowell said the Crêpes for Change team were believers in the proverb: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”.
So rather than simply reinvesting the project’s proceeds, they plan to actively engage with at-risk young people by providing hospitality and barista (coffee-making) training to give them the skills needed to find employment and improve their situation.
Ms Cowell said she is primarily involved with the creative and production elements of the project.
“I’ve studied two courses previously at RMIT, Creative Industries and Screen and Media, which taught me how to write, shoot and edit films,” she said.
“These skills allowed me to be part of, and contribute to, Crêpes for Change.”