By Rida Ahmed
This year photographers and generous donors have raised $52,520 for projects with Photographers Without Borders. From monkeys at La Senda Verde to disadvantages families in Vietnam, PWB has created partnerships with a myriad of organizations all over the world. 2014 has been an inspiring and successful year at PWB. Here are our top five fundraisers of the year.
1. Kristi Odom and Tracey Buyce – La Senda Verde
Kristi Odom and Tracey Boyce travelled to La Senda Verde in March of 2014 for two weeks to capture Bolivian wildlife rescued and rehabilitated by the organization. They successfully raised $4,212 of their $6,000 goal.
LSV is committed to recuperating and rehabilitating native Bolivian wildlife that have been rescued from abuse and trafficking. Many of the animals they receive arrive in bad health, with broken bones and some that even have bullets still lodged in their bodies. The organization also receives a great deal of animals that are baby orphans whose mothers are poached in the wild and the babies are sent to the market for sale.
Odom and Boyce said of their experience, “we believe through education and conservation that our photographs can help make a difference not only in animal trafficking awareness but to help support an amazing organization.”
2. Connie Tsang and Jessie Chaney – La casa de Panchita
Connie Tsang is a Toronto based photographer specializing in events, editorial and photojournalism. Jessie Chaney splits her time between Los Angeles and London. She has a Bachelor in Photography and Art History from Brown University and a Masters in Photojournalism from the London College of Communications. Collectively, they raised $4,062 to visit La Casa de Panchita in Lima, Peru.
La Casa de Panchita is a sanctuary for domestic workers of all ages. The organization educates domestic workers about their rights and helps develop their self-esteem. They aim to defend those who suffer discrimination because of poverty, age, gender, colour, language or culture.
3. Rachel Kulchin – Youth Alive Uganda
Rachel Kulchin raised $4,001 to fund her trip to Youth Alive Uganda, an organization whose primary objective is to provide counselling and training to youth to empower them and create opportunities for them.
“Of all the international assignments available with Photographers Without Borders, this opportunity caught my eye. I am a farmer by trade; I firmly believe in the power of agriculture as not only a sustainable business option for our future generations, but that working directly with the land cultivates a lifestyle that promotes healthy behaviors, builds strong communities and develops important life skills. Having worked with youth throughout my life, I am passionate about the value of how these skills contribute to the success of a person,” Kulchin said regarding her choice.
4. Brandon Wise – United Planet Romania
In May of 2014 Wise travelled to Valea Screzil, Romania. He raised $3,543 to work with United Planet Romania, an organization that includes an orphanage, safe homes for women who have been victims of abuse, and individuals with mental or physical disabilities. Volunteers with the organization tend to the needs of the children, teach them English and organize games and activities.
Experiencing a different culture and way of life was an exciting opportunity for Wise and the reason he is passionate about photography. “From an early age I have always been interested in learning about the world around me, and photography is the medium I use to relate to people from different backgrounds in order to bring awareness to their stories,” said Wise.
5. Lisa Kretschmann – Lifestart Foundation
After a successful fundraising campaign, Kretschmann raised $2,863 to visit the Lifestart Foundation in Vietnam. This not-for-profit organization aims to help disadvantages families become self-sufficient through sustainable income streams and vocational training. They also provide accommodation, transportation, medical support and dental treatment.