By Nick McCallum
Here at Photographers Without Borders, the team is diligently preparing our fourth magazine slated for release November 1st, and we have another fantastic lineup of organizations that we simply can’t wait to share with you. Therefore, in the spirit of teaser trailers, opening presents a day before Christmas, or that surprise party your aunt was too excited for to keep secret, we’d like to take this opportunity to give you a little taste of the projects we have in store for our upcoming issue. Bon appetit!
Project Potential, India
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Zubin Sharma founded SEEKHO as a means to empower local villagers the ability to implement positive change within their communities through a variety of educational programs such as learning centres, reading camps, and literacy camps for mothers. With roughly 700,000 villages scattered throughout India, Sharma believes “the catalyst and will for change exists in areas where people are generally seen as helpless victims in need of outside assistance.” Canadian documentary and portrait photographer, Sara Hylton—who has been featured in The New York Times, Reuters, and Smithsonian Magazine, to name just a few—will take you into the heart of Sharma’s innovative “changemaker” project with a series of stunning visuals that encapsulates the very mantra SEEKHO was founded upon: Madad. Mehanat. Mannat.
The Ghana Health and Education Initiative, founded in 2001 by Diana Rickard, seeks to free children from illness and illiteracy so that they may achieve their full potential. Operating out of Humjibre, GHEI’s focus is to enable communities in the Bibiani-Anhwiago-Bekwai district to enact change by building local capacity and providing resources and support. From proper hand-washing techniques and malaria prevention, to girls’ education and empowerment that aims to bridge the gender gap, GHEI is a powerfully ambitious grass roots organization. PWB sent photographer Rohit Lakhani to connect with the people who make GHEI possible and to share their story through his lens, capturing the love and dedication of those wanting to rid their community of disparity, and live healthy, prosperous lives.
Rain Tree Foundation, Thailand
The Rain Tree Foundation is a social welfare organization whose main priority is helping the poor in Thailand through children’s education, as well as water and community projects. This grass roots organization assists poor children or those from broken homes by providing formal education, healthcare, and also the opportunity to partake in income generating activities, thereby enabling the local population the ability to improve their means. Rain Tree is not only responsible for installing hundreds of biosand filters throughout communities to help create safe, drinkable water, but they also deliver approximately 600-800 recycled or used eyeglasses per annum to Thai villagers, drastically improving quality of life. Award-winning portrait photographer, Kate Buechner of Sydney, Australia, will acquaint you with her sincere and candid style in a series of beautiful photos that highlight the caring and compassionate work of the Rain Tree Foundation, and the lives of those it benefits.
Proyecto Hoizonte, Bolivia
In 2004, Proyecto Horizonte was established in Mineros San Juan, Ushpa-Ushpa, a small town situated 10km southeast of Cochabamba, Boliva, that began as an illegal settlement created by former miners and their families three years earlier. With only a single paved road, no plumbing, and water that has to be delivered by truck, the lack of basic infrastructure makes life difficult for local residents to say the least. By providing access to affordable education, including scholarships for low-income students, as well as health and dental care, Proyecto Horizonte’s goal is to “build local skills and increase responsibility until a full handover of roles is achieved.” On assignment was photographer Tim Greer, of Schuylerville, NY, a staunch advocate of sustainability whose creative and versatile technique allowed him to document the essence of life in Ushpa-Ushpa.
Founded in 2012 by sibling twosome Wendy Hayhoe and Glenn Pascoe, this relatively young organization operates in Jinja, Uganda, and strives to alleviate the suffering of individuals in the community by facilitating life-altering surgeries. As one of the poorest countries in the world, Uganda’s history is one racked by civil conflict and disease, with nearly 50% of its population under the age of 15 due to an extremely high prevalence of HIV. This heart-breaking disparity of wealth and power was the catalyst behind Wendy and Glenn’s commitment to lend assistance, and now “enjoy being personally involved and connected to the children of Uganda.” To document this inspiring humanitarian endeavour was portraitist, Scout Hebinck, whose “Huck Finn sense of adventure” and great love for telling stories through photography brought her to Jinja, giving you a wonderful glimpse of compassion in action.
Based out of the town of Thika, Kenya, AfCiC is an outreach program that was founded in 2003 with the mandate to prevent and protect children living and working on the streets of Thika and surrounding area. By teaching basic life skills and providing care as well as protection, the team at AfCiC aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and ultimately reintegrate children from the street back into their homes and communities. Their vision to create “a world of equal and sustainable opportunities for every child” is approached via educational empowerment and interim care, recognizing the importance of family as a main source of support. Jenna Rae Ammerman brings her talent and passion to Thika, delighting in any opportunity to spread awareness for organizations that are making a difference with her incredible ability to bestow elegance upon day-to-day life through her photography.
Maun Animal Welfare Society, Botswana
The history of Maun Animal Welfare Society (MAWS) extends all the way back to 1998, when it was first founded as The Dog Project by Mervyn Palmer, who has lived in Maun her entire life. Today, the MAWS clinic is located on Palmer’s own property, where it provides protection and care to domesticated and wild animals alike. In an area that is home to approximately 40,000 semi-owned, free-roaming dogs, MAWS offers free veterinary services for animals owned by low-income individuals, and aims to “prevent indiscriminate breeding, transmissible diseases and animal cruelty through sterilization, vaccination, and education.” With over 25 years experience, Toronto-based photographer, Margaux Yiu, followed these dedicated volunteers on their exploits, and documented the touching stories of humanity accorded to the forsaken animals of rural Botswana.
Tackle Africa, Uganda
This innovative and expansive project uses the popularity of football to deliver HIV education to young people via interactive drills designed to spread knowledge about the virus and its transmission. The drills contain health messages about HIV that unfolds during play, thereby imparting awareness to individuals in a healthy and fun manner, while at the same time promoting equality and confidence in a team-based environment. With 465 coaches working regularly with 18,000 young boys and girls across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Tackle Africa aims to create fully informed individuals before/as they become sexually active to help ensure they make safe and healthy decisions. Photographer Kenya Jade visited the Tackle Africa camp in Uganda, where she was able to capture the spirit of the game, and the youths motivated to create a brighter future for themselves and the generations to follow.
In 2008, Lara DeVries founded the Light and Leadership Initiative in the Huaycan community of Peru, which offers free after-school and weekend education programs to children and women. With 180,000 inhabitants all living below the poverty line, and an education system that ranked 2nd last in terms of quality, DeVries recognized potential for the growth and development of a people long neglected by their government. Apart from basic schooling, Light and Leadership also implemented a women’s empowerment program that runs workshops on nutrition, domestic violence, as well as artisan skills to provide income-generating opportunities. PWB paired up with Tanya Garcia, a social documentary photographer whose interest in social justice and women’s rights made her the perfect candidate to cover the LLI project, providing a uniquely intimate exploration of life in Huaycan.
Seeds of Peace, Israel/Jordan
Founded in 1993 by author and journalist John Wallach, Seeds of Peace strives to “inspire and equip new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace.” These international peace-building workshops act as safe havens for people to meet their historic enemies face-to-face, and to begin viewing each other as human beings with similar wants and dreams, instead of the faceless, demonized adversaries propagated by their cultures’ past rivalries. By creating new relationships and understanding in a neutral, positive environment, Seeds of Peace hopes to usher in a peaceful reality in areas of the world plagued by war and suffering. Maggie Svoboda, a photographer from Austin, Texas, focuses on portraiture and the nature of being human, which has allowed her to convey the act of peace in progress through a series of beautifully inspirational photos.