I have had to adjust a lot since COVID-19 hit, from having a very fast-paced lifestyle to going days without leaving the home.–Jaymie Monihan
Jaymie Moynihan is Masters of Development Studies who started Scarves for Social Change, a community movement all about spreading warmth and helping those in need, in partnership with Youth Projects. We spoke with Jaymie to find out more.
What made you start Scarves for Social Change?
Scarves for Social Change began in June 2019 after I wore a scarf I'd made to a party, and a friend asked where she could buy one. I then began making them for friends who asked, and people were offering to pay for them. That's how the idea of making them and having people donate to Youth Projects in exchange came about!
How has COVID-19 affected your life and those around you?
I cannot believe how much COVID-19 has affected every person in my life. Job loss and the difficulties of university courses being moved online are the greatest shifts I've seen and experienced.
I think one positive is the growth that Scarves for Social Change has seen in all of this, since I have had more time to be creating products.
I have also had four people join my team, including my two grandmas, which has kept us all connected and busy at this tough time, which I am grateful for.
What do you hope to achieve with Scarves for Social Change?
Originally I didn't really know what I was trying to achieve with the project in all honesty. It has almost paved its own path before my eyes. I am ultimately trying to raise awareness and funds for Youth Projects, but I think at the end of the day it's more than that.
It is about bringing people together, whether they are knitting or rocking the knitwear! Moving forwards, I want to continue raising awareness, funds and community connections.
Why are you passionate about Youth Projects?
Youth Projects do incredible work, and it astounds me that we don't hear about this more in general. At the moment, those who cannot isolate at home are in a lot of danger, and the extra work Youth Projects have done to try and protect and house these people is short of amazing. Working with young people is something I care a lot about and hope to do in the future, and the work Youth Projects do have definitely inspired this in me.
Outside of Scarves for Social Change, what else is keeping you busy (do you study/work/volunteer)?
I am passionate about being engaged with the community, and about giving back where I can. As a volunteer firefighter for the CFA and regular blood donor for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. I consider these, alongside the Scarves project, a small and normal part of life for me.
I also study a Master of Development Studies (looking into Humanitarian Aid and Non-Government Organisations) at The University of Melbourne.
Normally, alongside the two jobs I hold as a Legal Assistant and a Boarding School Supervisor, I play footy for Monash University. I have had to adjust a lot since COVID-19 hit, from having a very fast-paced lifestyle to going days without leaving the home.
I have definitely learnt a lot about myself throughout this time, so I am grateful for that.