Michael co-founded international charity WAYout – Worldwide Arts for Youth, working with children, youth and communities living in extreme poverty and disadvantage primarily in Sierra Leone via film, music and arts based projects, facilitating engagement and advocacy, leading to education, training and employment opportunities.
Here’s the film produced about Sierra Leone and WAYout, presented by Michael, which went on to win Philadelphia International Film Festival’s Best Short Music Film and was shortlisted for best short at Babelgum Film Festival.
Please check out the great work of the charity, for example, the enormously successful Street-to-Street project, the user-led project supporting street children to make video diaries raising global awareness about their situations, used in UK schools and colleges, whilst also supporting the children off the streets and back into education.
And now, the official WAYout Anthem is here!!
Winner best music video in the Sierra Leone Film Festival, The WAYout Anthem is written by WAYout’s young people Josta Hopps, Sinbob, Brian and Shargwan, and recorded at Big Change Studios by Tehteh Cathouse. WAYout commissioned this track but had no editorial input. They said what they wanted to say. Brian McAndrew spent four months in Sierra Leone volunteering for WAYout, working with musicians and making music clips. He shared his knowledge with many local artists including Josta Hopps who lived on the street before joining iEARN where he took part in several WAYout courses, growing as a musician and director.
Michael was recently asked to write a piece for LSE University about Sierra Leone and founding WAYout – the article has now been published online, here