Readers of Life As A Human are familiar with the amazing work that Kane Ryan and the Dirty Wall Project have done in India helping transform the Saki Naka slum community into one of the cleanest in the city and country. A while back, we heard that Kane was up to something new, and local. We reached out to him and here is what he told us about his exciting new project!
For the past four years I have straddled two worlds, balancing my life between India and Canada. My experience in Mumbai has been one of the most rewarding adventures of my life. With the support of family, friends and donors, Dirty Wall Project (in partnership with Janvi Trust) has been able to help transform the Saki Naka slum community into one of the cleanest areas in the city and country. DWP has built a free school, gardens and community spaces while supporting individual medical cases and sponsoring the private education of the children living in the surrounding communities. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people and to bring the Saki Naka slum community to life via photographs and stories to thousands of people around the world.
The only constant thing in my life has been the need for change and after four years in India I realized it was that time again. Like most major changes in a man’s life it involved a beautiful woman and falling in love…
I arrived home to Canada six months ago with the idea to start my first for-profit business. Fast-forward to today and I have been in business for just over a month at the Lost + Found Cafe.
Now that I’m here in Vancouver I want to create a space that brings the world to this city through art, philanthropy and great food. The food at Lost + Found is simple and fresh and all made in-house daily. Every morning we make fresh dough (my grandmother’s recipe) and turn it into cinnamon buns, sandwiches and an array of baked goods.
Our cookies, brownies and dessert bars are made fresh every morning and go great with our fair-trade, locally roasted coffee from Republica Roasters.
The space itself is warm, relaxed and well travelled. We have hundreds of travel books and magazines and there are always world documentaries playing on our 8-ft projector wall in the back of the room. Our charity section is filled with products from India, Uganda, South Africa , Mexico and Cambodia, all sourced from women’s groups, charities and NGO’s. The proceeds from these items go directly to the Dirty Wall Project Foundation. The money raised will benefit our current projects and families in India and give us the opportunity to begin helping locally, right here in the Downtown East Side. With such a large space we want to give other charities currently working in the area a venue for hosting events to help raise funds and awareness. We will also be hosting for-profit events like photography exhibitions and music nights a couple times a month. The back half of the space will be a forever-changing gallery for local artists to showcase their talent.
Travel is an essential part of everyone’s life whether it be backpacking through Peru, a beach vacation in Hawaii, volunteering in Africa or simply day dreaming of getting away. It’s something we all think about and the trips you go on stay with you forever. But it’s rarely the things you are supposed to see that stick with you. like seeing the Taj Mahal or visiting the Empire State Building. It’s always those days when you’re “lost” in a foreign place and you stumble across something amazing and unplanned. It’s those days that years later you speak of with fond memories – of the time you “found” that great place off the beaten track.
At Lost + Found I want to give people a chance to come in, have great food and pick up a book or have a chat and day dream about somewhere they’ve always wanted to go or reminisce about that trip they took.
33 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, British Columbia
All Photos By Kane Ryan – All Rights Reserved