Early this May, volunteer extraordinaire Justin Yapp partnered with C4C to run a program in Thailand! We loaned Justin a workshop in a backpack! He took a small lowepro backpack with 10 Nikon Coolpix cameras, cards and a thumbdrive containing all of the essential information to run a C4C photoworkshop. It was exciting to get his newsupdates and photos from the kids, so much so that we asked him to do a guest blog post and here it is!
This past June, myself and four other young adults from Vancouver ventured off to Chiang Rai, Thailand to volunteer at Baan Nam Jai (BNJ) also known as Home of the Open Heart– an orphanage developed for kids who have been affected by HIV.
During the kid’s summer break, we organized various activities such as swimming in a river, venturing through a night safari, walking at night markets, and after partnering with Cameras 4 Change, we were able to include photography.
These kids were able to express themselves through photography where words could not be expressed. Their passion, desire to be heard, love for their surroundings and love for one another are seen through their photographs.
Everyday we picked a topic such as shadows, favourite spots, plants, and friends and they eagerly ran up to us to show what they came up with… including multiple selfies. I remember one of the boys showing me a photograph that he took of his favourite spot in the orphanage and why it was important to him.
I am extremely impressed by their perseverance, hope, and outlook in life despite being marginalized and going through hardships at an early age. It was a privilege to be able to share that time with them and to be able to see things from their perspective through photography.
Thanks Cameras 4 Change for making this activity possible!
Today was the first of 2 workshops here in different communities in Mexico City with our partners Isla Urbana! Late this afternoon, Jennifer White of Isla Urbana and I headed to a wonderful community high in the hills that flag the edges of DF San Francisco is a community of needs within the delegacion of Xochimilco. Isla Urbana are implementing a rainwater harvesting project here to satisfy the needs, and part of the overall process is to also provide cultural experiences within those communities. This helps to solidify a bond with their clients, and also assists in solidifying the success of their programs. We are delighted to provide creative experiences through photography. When I asked the 20 participants ranging in age from 5 years to 72! ( yes there was a delightful 72 year old woman that came to our workshop) who had held a camera before, not one put up their hand. They were so excited to get the cameras and we couldn’t help but smile. One small boy who was going to share a camera with his mother had huge tears in his eyes and so of course we gave him his own camera to use!
Today was all about getting to know each other a little and introducing photography and cameras to the group, then we let them take the cameras to the streets for the first time. Tomorrow we will be focusing on portraits. I will be posting more as I can, it is a very busy workshop as there is only myself and one assistant with 20 people!!
Many thanks towards all of our tribe of supporters, from all of the individuals who have participated in our funding events, to our corporate partners, Nikon Canada, Fluevog Shoes, Sandisk, and Lowepro. We couldn’t do it without you!
Below: 20 cameras tagged and ready to go out into the world, that would be 20 Nikon Coolpix point and shoot housed in some sweet little Lowepro bags and holding 8gig cards from Sandisk, thank you!