Support Leya Russell

Support Leya Russell

BIO

Hi, I’m Leya!

Inspired to feel a deeper connection with the world, I am driven to actively create. Establishing a professional photography business in Calgary, Alberta, while continuing to build on my Fine Art practice, makes me grateful for the opportunity to bring together communities through visual storytelling.

An explorer at heart, I have travelled extensively throughout my life, always eager for what is yet to come. Southeast Asia, being dearest to my heart, has made me realize that no matter your background, we are all family with knowledge to share and compassion to give. I find a great sense of humility in travelling and am continually filled with a sense of wonder and awe at the ever-changing surroundings. Using the lens as my tool to piece together diverse elements, I find photography to be a potent medium for building a bridge between cultures.

What makes you passionate about supporting CDD?
I am specifically interested in Bangladesh as it is situated in a unique geographic and economic position. Affected by rising sea levels as a result of climate change, Bangladesh is facing environmental disaster, encompassing large areas of inhabited land being affected.

These environmental and economic conditions severely impact the disabled communities, who are most at risk. CDD raises awareness of the problems facing Bangladesh and provides viable solutions. They focus on providing strategic emergency evacuation planning, help the disabled to find employment and provide access to goods and services. Photography can be a valuable tool in sharing these stories. It can motivate people to act and provide much-needed assistance. I strongly support the work of CDD and believe their efforts result in tangible and positive change.


How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them? 

After returning from my first journey to India, my photography became a powerful tool of communication. The images provided a profound perspective, that words alone could not achieve. Through these images, people gained a better understanding of foreign cultures. I believe that photography connects on a beautiful, emotional level, that it can ignite a call to action. My professional photography skills will aid the CDD to tell a more complete story of the situation and achieve their goals of further benefiting society.


What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I am deeply committed to helping the CDD and the people of Bangladesh. Any support or donation that you make will be greatly appreciated and go a long way. Only together, can we make a significant change in the lives of the disabled in Bangladesh.

Support Andrea Sarcos

Support Andrea Sarcos

ANDREA SARCOS

PWB had the chance to sit down to discuss Andrea’s upcoming trip to Nepal.

Andrea Sarcos was born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with a dual bachelors degree in Journalism and Creative Photography. She works as a full-time multimedia storyteller and has spent the past few years traveling around the globe learning about different peoples and cultures. She is passionate about continuing on this journey and expanding her efforts to help those in need.

About the Photographer

I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. At the young age of four, my mother packed up a suitcase full of my favorite Barbie dolls and clothes and we flew to the United States. Florida became our home.

When my parents decided to move to another country to give me a better future, I was too young to know how big of a decision they had made. But looking back now, I am forever grateful to them because of all the amazing opportunities I’ve had while living in the U.S. I’ve had the resources to help me realize my full potential, and now I’m ready to give back to others.

I am passionate about helping Firefly Children’s Home and Prisoner’s Assistance’s children’s homes because they exist to educate and nurture Nepali children to reach their full potential. These kids are able to have a chance to live a good life despite their circumstances.

I strongly believe we’re all connected. Through our shared planet, waters, air, hope and dreams. All children, regardless of race, ethnicity, social or economic background deserve to be raised in a nurturing environment.

I am positive that helping Firefly Children’s Home will have a positive ripple affect on their community, Nepal, and even the world. As a full-time photographer with a dual bachelors degree in journalism and creative photography, I will do my best to portray these organizations in an honest light. I love spending as much time as I can getting to know my subjects and their environment. I aim for those who view my photos to feel like they were actually there, to feel the energy and emotions of people who live on the other side of the globe. By amplifying the voices of those who are most vulnerable, we can gain humbling new perspectives and be the force for awareness, aid and change.

Support Lee Bartran (Cambodia)

Support Lee Bartran (Cambodia)

BIO

I’m Lee….a Colorado native, single mom to seven (four who were adopted), deep-thinking introvert who is passionate about travel, photography, giving back and storytelling for change.  

I am so excited to  have the opportunity to work alongside Damnok Toek in Cambodia and help them to share about the incredible work they are doing with vulnerable children.   Working with children has been an integral and important part of my personal and work life.  For 10 years,  my work was focused on orphaned children in China,  creating foster care programs, leading medical trips, and creating my own non-profit which operated in China.  My work  allowed medically frail orphaned children to get the medical care they needed, education and a loving environment where they could thrive.   

I have seen first hand the difference that can be made in a child’s life if they are given hope and opportunity.  Damnok Toek’s focus on street children, children with disabilities and trafficking victims is giving these children just that.  Spending a few weeks by their side,  hearing their heart and seeing their work first hand will provide the perfect backdrop to share their story.    When you combine powerful imagery with storytelling, and share your message with the world, it’s  impactful. …something I have experienced first hand.  So to play a small role in sharing their work, feels incredible and an opportunity I am so grateful for.  

Support Andrea Musso and Anna Chrul

Support Andrea Musso and Anna Chrul

ANDREA MUSSO

BIO

Andrea Musso is a photography and traveling passionate.

Born in Torino, Italy, he is living in Geneva (CH) area since more than 20 years.

Diversity of race, colour, faith, gender, and orientation are the key to enrich culture and tolerance; for this reason the photographer works mainly for non-profit organisations.

About the technique, subjects and composition, Andrea has received several international recognitions.

1.      What makes you passionate about helping MONES?

As a photographer I like to offer my free time to serve non-profit organisations that take care of people in general; serving someone that spend their energy and time to fight discrimination and violence is a honour. I am concerned by violence against women and recently, for November 25th 2018, International day agains domestic violence, I realised a photo project to sensitise people about it. An example is visible HERE.

In the specific case of MONES Organisation, being a man serving a cause against discrimination and violence on women has a tremendous meaning to me.

I already had collaborations in the past with several organisations: orpahanges, schools, hospitals, outreach health centers… every time is a small adventure and an amazing mix of feelings; to meet the people is a great experience and to discover other cultures is enriching.


2.      How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them? 

Nowadays we need to communicate, and this is especially true for organisations that need sponsorships to fund their projects. A professional photographer can catch the moments in such a way that the observer understands better and faster the idea behind the project.Sometime I see people to cry watching some of my pics; this is the impact that a photo in this contest can give.On a website, a flyer or any communication tool, a professional photo can have a much bigger impact. For these reasons I think that my work can have a value and can help the organisation on the medium and long term.


3.      What message would you like to send to your supporters?

In western countries we do not realise how a small offer can have an impact on lives on the other side of the world; I can only encourage you to support this project in order to make it real, and in order to make many other projects possible.



As I have no other way to thank you than offering my work, so:

For any donation above 50$ the photographer will send you the HD file of a photo of your choice in my whole catalog.

For any donation above 200$ the photographer will send you a print of a photo of your choice with certificate of authenticity of limited number of prints (1/30); please send me your address by email in this case.

ANNA

BIO:

I’ve started my adventure with photography more than 10 years ago, at the beginning I treated it as way to spend free time and save some memories. I love to takes photos of nature and moments of everyday life. For long time I was too shy and didn't share my photos with others, but with time I improved my skills and also understood that photography is a powerful tool and can be used to help others – that is why I decided to join Photographers Without Borders.

What makes you passionate about helping MONES?

When I’ve read first time about MONES I was impressed by the variety of projects organized and followed by them – giving support to victims of home violence, improving the life quality and status of women, supporting women to be more active and visible by reducing the gender-based discrimination. I am excited to meet them and listen their motivations to better understand how my work can be as fruitful as possible.


How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

Iwill be my first experience as photographer for PWB, I would like to show with my photos the amount of work done by women from MONES. I’d like to show their professionalism and at the same time emotions which are “behind the scenes”, which accompanies their everyday work but often are not visible on official photos.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

As a photographer I love to catch moments - it can be a second that passed not noticed by others but was meaningful for the person on the photography. I wish to share with you those special moments and show you that all over the world we are the same – we live similar emotions, we live sad and happy moments. I wish to show that there are people who cares about others and work hard to change our world to a better place. Thank you for all kind of support related to this project.

Support Artur Gajda

Support Artur Gajda

BIO

I have over a decade of professional production industry experience working all over the world, ranging from documentary & journalism to branding & entertainment projects with many top tier brands and organizations.  I’m a Primetime Emmy Award winner with two Daytime Emmy nominations and a handful of other industry accolades.  I’m a self-starter and an advocate of grassroots non-profit groups. I aim to make a difference by providing support in my realm of expertise: media production, technical support, and visual story-telling.

Over the course of my career I have been fortunate enough to be in a position that allows me to shift my focus and my business to the support of non-profit organizations.  Please visit www.ThinkFarmProductions.ca to learn more about me and my work.  Thanks again for your support!

1. What makes you passionate about helping TOIT Nepal (toit.org.np)?

I strongly believe that a quality education is an effective tool at combatting some of humanity’s biggest problems. Poverty, hunger, conflict, gender equality and many other afflictions created by mankind all stem from ignorance or unawareness; this is a direct result of a lack of education. If you think about it there is much more to obtaining a good education than simply achieving individual economic advancement. People seek alternate perspectives and are more tolerant and understanding of one another which alleviates conflict. People become aware of the fact that FGM (female genital mutilation) is a senseless, torturous, and medically detrimental tradition which reduces physical and mental suffering and deaths by infection of young girls and women.

People ultimately become more effective problem solvers and become more compassionate towards one another.

However, education is not readily available in regions of the world where the economic situation dictates that survival is the only order of the day because if the whole family doesn’t work in the fields or doesn’t work in the market, then the family goes hungry or sleeps in the streets without a roof over their heads. It truly is a very bleak notion if you imagine yourself in that scenario, but this is a reality in much of the developing world. This is where TOIT steps in and provides that critical component to jump starting that journey towards progress and self-fulfillment. TOIT provides the opportunity for the marginalized families in Bhaktapur to educate their children and to achieve economic stability through entrepreneurship. Without the support of TOIT many of the families in Bhaktapur would be unable to send their children to school.

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for TOIT Nepal?

The organization’s efforts are yielding results, however, a real need for transparency within the greater Kathmandu area has developed. In order to continue organizational growth TOIT must effectively promote their operations and their intentions within Nepal and also to the international community if their grassroots efforts are to continue to impact more and more childrens’ lives. My photography and technical support will provide TOIT the visual content required to achieve an online presence and finally be able to effectively reach a global audience of supporters to help the program grow.

My imagery aims to invoke an emotional response in viewers, however, the message I want to send is one of hope and potential, and not a message of deprivation and suffering. Most importantly, I want my photography to be representative of the important, life-changing impact that TOIT continues to have on the children and the families of Nepal.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I feel as though many of us take our ability to pursue an education for granted, and oftentimes we consider it to be a burden. Education has an entirely different significance in places such as Bhaktapur where it is a privilege and a beacon of hope.

Please seriously consider contributing to the growth of this wonderful organization. Even $1 and 1 minute of your time spent will make a difference for the rest of someone’s life. Clean out those couch cushions! If you’re unable to contribute financially, then please spread the word and visit TOIT’s website (http://toit.org.np) and see how else you can get involved. Thank you in advance for your support!

Support Lou Gilbert

Support Lou Gilbert

BIO

Framing the details of life through the lens has become Lou’s passion. She is an educator, book artist and travelling photographer, based in Brisbane.

With a preference for purposeful travel, Lou has volunteered as a photographer in South Africa; Northern Thailand, Argentina and most recently in Rajesthan in India. Telling the stories of people and organisations within the non-profit sector, where images can create meaningful change for good, helps her merge her love of humanitarian storytelling and seeing the world.  

While carefully made images are important to her, she has fun with her photography too and loves personal photo projects involving photo books and travel journals. Her photographic adventures have taken her from India to Iran, Uzbekistan to Iceland, Canada to Cuba, Patagonia to Peru, Singapore to Spain and many places in between.

1. What makes you passionate about helping SEED (www.seed.org.za)?

I like the idea of purposeful travel and photography. I value the role of education and learning, having spent my working life involved in this industry in Australia and overseas. Spending time with the Seed organisation will allow me to learn more about who they are, what they do and what impact their work has on the communities with which they engage. 

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

That's the first question I will ask them. I hope my photography can help SEED explain and promote their work, tell their stories in an ethical and authentic way and garner more support for their work in tangible ways that count.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters? 

Telling visual stories about good things people in non profit organisations are doing to educate and inspire youth from disadvantaged backgrounds is a worthwhile investment. 

Support Lee Bartran (Malawi)

Support Lee Bartran (Malawi)

I’m Lee….a Colorado native, single mom to seven (four who were adopted), deep-thinking introvert who is passionate about travel, photography and storytelling for change.  

For 10 years,  my work was focused on orphaned children in China,  creating foster care programs, leading medical trips, and creating my own non-profit which operated in China.  My work  allowed medically frail orphaned children to get the medical care they needed, education and a loving environment where they could thrive.    It was incredibly rewarding  work….but it was hard.  

It takes a special kind of person to run an NGO…. a dedication that goes far beyond the typical 8-5.   Long hours, sometimes being the manager, volunteer coordinator & fundraiser all in one, guided by one strong vision.   It’s a journey I know personally, so to  have the opportunity to work alongside Chepembere Community Development Organization  (CCDO)  and share their work  feels like an incredible opportunity.   Located in rural Malawi,  they are doing work to empower women and children, teach entrepreneurial skills while focusing on gender equality….and they are making change.  Their core belief that  “ to empower women is to empower the entire society” is one that resonates deeply with  me personally.  

Spending a few weeks by their side,  hearing their heart and seeing their work first hand will provide the perfect backdrop to share their story.    When you combine powerful imagery with storytelling, and share your message with the world, it’s  impactful. …something I have experienced first hand.  So to play a small role in sharing their work, feels incredible and an opportunity I am so grateful for.  

Support Lee Rubin-Jakober

Support Lee Rubin-Jakober

Bio

Lee Rubin-Jakober is an avid traveler, teacher, and photographer. She grew up in central Massachusetts but has lived outside of America for the last five years. Lee has taught both high school photography and classes geared towards adults. She believes in the powerful stories that images can tell and uses her photography to bring truth and light to relevant issues like education and equal rights.

1. What makes you passionate about helping Alpine Peace Crossing?

I am passionate for people who are working to make a difference, who serve on behalf of others. Alpine Peace Crossing is clearly motivated not only to help refugees and those seeking asylum but also to pay tribute to those who came before them, honoring the Jewish Exodus in 1947 with a remembrance walk.

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

I believe that photography has the power to tell stories, to catch the attention that words cannot. It speaks to a level of human interaction, demonstrating the inner workings of an organization. I believe that photographs will help get the Alpine Peace Crossing’s message out. That with the help of Photographers Without Borders, they can be recognized for the incredible work they are doing to help refugees and those seeking asylum.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I would like my supporters to know that I believe in the world that the Alpine Peace Crossing is doing and that I am honored to be able to witness and take part in their reflection and tribute to those who came before them.

Support Samantha Hines

Support Samantha Hines

BIO

Samantha Hines is a documentary family photography living in Denver, Colorado. She studied Psychology, Sociology, and Spanish at Oklahoma State University and earned a master’s degree in Spanish Linguistics from NYU Madrid in Spain. Sam discovered her love for documentary photography while photographing a family road trip through the western United States and quickly realized that capturing in-between family moments using the documentary approach was her calling. For the last two and a half years, Sam has been documenting moments for families in their homes, at their weddings, and at other events, eschewing the posed in favor of the authentic.

1. What makes you passionate about helping La Esperanza Granada (LEG)

It’s always been difficult for me to decide which charity to support – helping those trapped in the cycle of poverty, protecting the environment, LGBTQ and gender equality – how is one to choose among so many important issues? Eventually, though, I realized that finding solutions to these problems rests on having an educated populace. By educating children, La Esperanza Granada helps brighten the future of not just the children they are helping, but of society as a whole. Supporting education supports all causes.

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

In today’s social media driven world, the importance of impactful photography to tell a story and grab a user’s attention cannot be overstated. Non-profits and NGOs like La Esperanza Granada rely on outside support and having images that show potential volunteers and donors exactly how and who they are helping is vital. I believe that my images will help create the connection needed for La Esperanza Granada to gain supporters and grow.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I cannot thank you enough. Please know that there is no contribution too small; any support you are able to give is deeply appreciated.

Support Lola Wallace

Support Lola Wallace

Born and raised in London’s east end, I went to school with kids whose parents came from all over the world, it was an incredible mix of cultures. My own parents had settled in London when they were children, dad from Trinidad in the West Indies, my mum from Guyana in South America, so I thrived in such a diverse environment.

After school, I went to university gaining a BA Hons degrees in Cultural Studies, which in turn led to my fascination with people’s unique stories, where they came from, how it had shaped them and where they may be headed.

About that same time, I’d started to develop a keen interest in photography, so it seemed obvious that this would work as a fine medium to try to capture, in a singular moment, some aspect, some fragment of these peoples lives.

Unfortunately, as it does, real life and having a “proper” job got in the way, but I was fortunate to land a role as assistant to renowned rock artist photographer Jill Furmanovsky.

Through working with Jill, I discovered PYMCA - (Photographic, Youth, Music, Culture Archive), an agency dedicated to visually capturing and documenting every imaginable aspect of global youth culture. I became the Agent/rep for PYMCA’s leading photographers, arranging exhibitions and bringing artists together with clients.

After 3 years PYMCA morphed into POW - Pictures on Walls, representing graphic designers and graffiti artists like Jamie Hewlett, Mode2 and Banksy.  Along with owner Steve Lazarides, my role was to get the artists names out through events and exhibitions …

3 years later, I moved to Portland, Oregon on the West Coast of the US. I got married had two kids and settled into being “at home”, chasing after the three of them….

Not finding this completely fulfilling,  I saw this time as an opportunity to rekindle my love of photography, learn more about digital photography and post processing with Photoshop and Lightroom.  I returned to what I loved doing: documenting people doing what they loved doing, telling their stories in the most unfiltered, honest way I possibly could. This grew into my first website, Pictures of People, or popphoto.pics

Then, after 12 years being comfortably settled in Oregon, up popped a very unexpected opportunity for the family to live for three years in Sri Lanka ! Not without some apprehension, we decided we would be mad to pass up this chance to live and learn in a completely different culture.

While in Sri Lanka I began taking snaps of people I met on the streets.  This was fun, but I wanted to dig a little deeper, so started contacting local non profits, offering to take photos to help promote and publicize their causes.

In  November 2018,  I went to India and took photographs for the Sambhali Trust NGO.

Sambhali’s mission is to empower girls and women in English and maths education whilst teaching the marketable trade skill of sewing. This experience truly was a game changer for me. I now knew what my focus in photography would be.


What makes you passionate about helping the organization?

I am passionate about shooting for non profits especially those geared towards providing a path of growth for children and young women. The Programs at Avatar provides education and training for children and girls all the way up to graduate school. This is an incredible opportunity for any child. I am enthusiastic about education and empowering children especially girls in India where an education can suddenly come to an end at the age of 15 because she has to be married and stay at home.


How do you believe your photography can make a difference?

I love visual story telling. I believe my images will benefit Avasar and drive new audiences to their programs. I hope my photographs will show the students at work and move the onlooker to want to get involved. I want the audience to really see how successfully the programs are working.


What message would you like to send to your supporters?

My message for support is simple. The Avasar Foundation says that ’Ability is nothing without opportunity.’ Support, is key in keeping these programs alive.


Support Jon Llyod

Support Jon Llyod

Jon's first travel experience was when his family moved to Guam when he was just shy of 1 year old. His parents were avid travelers and loved to explore whatever part of the world they were stationed in, most often in a camper van. He has since traveled to over 70 countries on 6 continents, looking to explore the people, culture, and wildlife of a place. One of the first things he does when he arrives is to go wander and get lost in the local markets or back alleys where life really happens. He actively looks for opportunities to engage locals in dialog about their life and dreams. He is currently on an extended sabbatical from his role running training programs for enterprise software companies. After attending the PWB School in Sumatra in 2018, Jon has three PWB assignments in 2019.

What makes you passionate about helping the organization?

My first trip to the African continent was in 2014 where I blended a traditional Tanzanian safari with visits to clinics, schools, and non-profits. It was my first real glimpse into how small non-profits and NGOs can make significant steps in improving the quality of life. What drew me to Abofra is their focus on computer education and their outreach program into under-served communities. As someone who has been deeply involved in teaching software over the last 20 years, the importance of this literacy is critical to economic success.

Abofra Foundation believe we are in a technological age and the development of every nation depends on its citizen passion for I.C.T. (Information & Communications Technology). Children being our major focus means, every child must have easy access to computer education.


How do you believe your photography can make a difference?

What I love about the Abofra Foundation is their commitment to children as well as the community as a whole. This holistic approach is deeply moving and I hope that I can capture that impact to move more people to support this community and stunningly beautiful country.  


What message would you like to send to your supporters?

It is my deepest hope that supporting Abofra in Ghana will allow them to grow awareness of their cause for both art and computer education for children, and the community outreach program, which visits disadvantaged communities and towns with a full range of development programs.


Support Kim and Julien Annand

Support Kim and Julien Annand

As a mother and son team we are more than excited to work together as we embark on this adventure to assist EmpowerMen in Madagascar.  Our hope is to create moving photography and videography that will motivate more young men to become the changemakers needed in our challenging world.  To drive them to overcome barriers and set the pace for a new generation.

We are inspired by EmpowerMen Madagascar, who are dedicated to providing opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access to the skills or resources necessary to catapult them on to success.

We want to show the world their strength in saying ‘yes’ to standing up for equal rights and gender equality via their ‘He-for She' campaign. Boys and men can be the heroes we need them to be; to stand beside us as we continue to lay the foundation to create a world free of inequality.

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS

As a lawyer I have been advocating for the vulnerable for almost 20 years. It was a natural progression for me to use my lens as a means to extend that advocacy in my photography.  I rose from a life of poverty and injustices, to achieve my goals, which became the motivation for my passion to help others.  My background affords me a unique perspective and provides me with tools to bring compassion and understanding to my work as a photographer.  I always strive to keep learning new things, about new places and cultures, and opening up my mind to new experiences.  I have an incurable case of wanderlust and feel so alive behind my camera.  

I have two children and a granddaughter, who is 8.  They travel with me a lot. In fact, my son, Julien will be joining me on some of these adventures to do videography. Julien is a talented musician, mastering the piano at a young age, is quick witted and very bright.  He aspires to be a computer programmer and is committed to social justice, being involved in various volunteer activities in our community and at school. 

Support Zoe Wittering

Support Zoe Wittering

PWB had the chance to sit down with Zoe Wittering to discuss her upcoming trip to Ukraine.

The Photographer

Zoé is a lifestyle and portrait photographer living in the South of France. She grew up in England, studied law and french at university and went on to train and qualify as a corporate lawyer. She worked in London for several years , then moved to Moscow, Russia which is where her photography journey started. Wanting to capture and document the places she travelled to she found herself increasingly drawn to photographing people, which has now become her passion. For the last sixteen years she has lived in Russia and France. Motivated by the desire to show the beauty in the ordinary Zoe uses a documentary approach in her photography and videography. She loved to tell the story of the people she photographs in images and words.

1. What makes you passionate about helping Zaporuka?

Everybody has dreams. But if your child has cancer you have only one dream. That is for treatment and recovery. We live in a world where research and hard work has meant that many illnesses can now be treated and children suffering can recover or at least suffer less. However, this is not the case everywhere. Can you imagine knowing that the medication and treatment for your child exists but that it is not available to them? Me neither. That is why I am passionate about helping them.

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

Organisations like Zaporuka rely on donations and volunteers.  They need to tell the world what they are doing to continue to receive donations and attract new donors and volunteers.

We live in a world where we are bombarded with information. People flick through social media posts and barely take the time to read the titles of news items let alone the content. A photograph can convey a message, an emotion. It can tell a story in seconds. It is hard not to care about some one when you can clearly see their eyes. I can create photographs which show the work Zaporuka is doing day in, day out. I can show people the children and families the organisation is helping. Real people, real lives. These images can be used to increase awareness of the work they do and the support they need.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I would like to say "thank you”. No contribution is too small. Sharing my story, buying a print or booking a portrait session. Thank you for any and all support.

Support Bryan Watt & Leila Srour

Support Bryan Watt & Leila Srour

PWB had the chance to sit down with Bryan Watt & Leila Srour to discuss their upcoming trip to Guatemala.

The Project

Bryan Watt and Leila Srour MD, have been selected by Photographers Without Borders to document The Maya Health Alliance - Wuqu' Kawoq, www.mayahealth.org project. This project works to transform the health of Maya communities in Guatemala believing that everyone–no matter where they were born or what language they speak–should have the highest quality health care. The Maya Health Alliances work in Guatemala’s most impoverished communities, solving their pressing health care needs. They overcome barriers to health–uniting medicine, culture, and language. The Maya Health Alliance is recognized as a leader in the field of nutrition, one of the most significant aspects of child health in Guatemala. They help other organizations in Guatemala to implement their own nutrition programs and conduct nutrition research funded by other institutions. They also care for children with complex illnesses such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, seizure disorders, and cancer.


The Photographer

Over the years, my wife Leila and I have reported on many health-related organizations in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, and on eleven projects in eight countries on the African Continent. Leila, a pediatrician (MD, FAAP, MPH, DTM&H), can evaluate and share from a medical perspective while I document through photography. Each visit has provided us with local knowledge, ways of doing things, creative solutions, contact information, and inspiration that we are able to share with other projects.

We look forward to this opportunity to help the Maya Health Alliance. They are dedicated to helping the underserved indigenous community by providing access to medical care in their language. We hope to share, contribute, and learn as we have done with rural health projects and indigenous communities elsewhere. Hopefully, the Maya Health Alliance will benefit from our knowledge and professional photographs to convey understanding and produce compassionate empathy as part of their donor relations strategy to generate increased philanthropic support.


Bryan Watt Biography

After teaching at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, my full-time goal for the previous 16 years has been to help those in need. I can’t do it myself, but I’m able to assist the organizations that are helping them. I can contribute with photographs that create a sense of purpose and cohesiveness, raise credibility, and share accomplishments and successes with donors. My photos focus on the feelings of people who are in need, create emotional empathy and make it harder not to help them.

Since 2004, we helped those less fortunate by moving to a small village in the Lao PDR, building a school building, selecting and supporting scholarship students, assisting patients to access medical care locally, nationally, internationally, and sometimes attending funeral ceremonies. We provide ongoing support to this community.

Bryan and his wife Leila Srour, a pediatrician have been living in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) from 2002 to 2013. Now they are always on the road with no home base.


Leila Srour Biography

Leila Srour is a pediatrician and an international volunteer, supporting pediatric training in developing countries. This year, she is working in Laos and Bhutan. Last year, she volunteered in Cambodia, Nepal, Laos, and Bhutan.

From 2002-2013, Leila volunteered with Health Frontiers supporting the training of Lao pediatricians and the continuing medical education of the graduates. With her husband, Bryan, they supported the Butterfly Children’s Development Center, an after-school program in their village in Luang Namtha, northern Laos.

Leila completed the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London, 2002. She graduated with a Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University in 2001. Leila worked as a general pediatrician in Santa Barbara 1984-2001. She is a Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles pediatric residency 1983 graduate. She graduated from Loma Linda medical school in 1978.


Donor Incentive

Bryan will send you a one-time use lab coupon good for a free custom photographic print from this trip to Guatemala to donors contributing USD 200 or more. You may select from a selection of images once the project is completed and order through www.bryanwatt.com . Prints will ship unsigned directly from the lab with nominal shipping not included. When donating, please leave a note in the comment box with your name and email.

Leila and I have already paid for our trip costs through this website and need no further funding. However, you are welcome to contribute knowing that your donations will be allocated 50/50 between Photographers Without Borders and the Maya Health Foundation in Guatemala. Both are 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations in the USA.

Website & Blog

www.bryanwatt.com

Social Media

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/humanitarianphotographer

INSTAGRAM: @bryan.watt


Support John Peltier

Support John Peltier

I’m an Air Force combat veteran and pilot by trade.  I served for ten years, which included two deployments to Afghanistan.  Towards the end of that ten years I realized that I needed a different pace in my life, so in 2012 I bought a 27-foot sailboat and sailed from North Carolina to the Caribbean. I was telling the story of the adventure through photography, which has interested me since high school.  This was a life-changing experience, and one that I still continue on a part-time basis.

During the journey I accidentally stumbled upon a small island off the coast of Haiti.  I was introduced to an NGO that has been helping them improve educational and nutritional programs on their island.  At that time I only considered myself a landscape photographer, but the experience in Haiti really brought about a passion for documentary photography and working with NGOs.  I'm still involved with this group today, in addition to a number of other conservation and humanitarian groups.

I call Lake Tahoe home and enjoy all of the year-round activities offered in this mountain paradise.  These include backpacking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, sailing, and kayaking. I also volunteer on two search and rescue teams when I'm not traveling.

1. What makes you passionate about helping X-SUBA Sport4Development Uganda?

I owe a lot of my own opportunities & success to the sports programs that my parents got me into when I was young.  I was very active in soccer (or football, for the rest of the world), cross-country running, golf, and track & field.  Each of these activities contributed different elements to my growth. All of them taught me about teamwork, responsibility, goal-setting, physical fitness, and mindfulness.  I made some great friends and was an overall better person thanks to these programs.

Now it's my turn to be a part of providing the same opportunities to other children.  Programs like X-SUBA are especially important in underprivileged communities, where alternative activities can be crippling to their potential.  Everyone deserves chances like this, but not everyone has access.

2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

Photography is an incredibly powerful tool.  I've seen first-hand with other NGOs I've worked with how photography can help tell a story, demonstrate the NGO's potential, and spur others to support their mission.  I'm looking forward to being a part of their team for a couple of weeks. I can't wait to show the rest of the world what they're doing, the impact it's making in the lives of others, and their plans for the future.  Even just being there and showing the children that there is an outside interest in them will help inspire them.

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

Everyone can personally relate to a program like X-SUBA because we've all been touched by similar programs whether we realize it or not.  All of us have participated in some kind of organized activity, be it sports, arts, computers, etc., that has influenced who we are today.  We all owe our success, in one way or another, to a mentor or activity that taught us these necessary life skills. Invest in the future of the world and pay it forward.

Support Alex Cave

Support Alex Cave

In a decade of photographic documentation, Los Angeles based photographer Alex Cave has used his camera to explore displacement and isolation. His latest series focusing on deported US veterans living in Mexico is a testament to the confrontational nature of his subject matter. Alex attempts to create a feeling of isolation using a neutral color palette, featuring one bright, out-of-place tone. In addition to work with displaced veterans, Alex has photographed melting glaciers in the arctic, suburbanization in the American Southwest, and childhood poverty in Bolivia. He credits his mother for cultivating his passion for all things photography as an adolescent. 

Hi I’m Alex, a photographer & printmaker from Los Angeles! In December 2018, I will be documenting the work of the Chain Collaborative and the Now Africa Initiative in the Kanugu district of Uganda. The vision of this NGO is to create viable, sustainable and competitive economic development in rural Uganda. As a social enterprise, this agricultural organization plans to play a catalytic role in building a sustainable, modern, rural-based economy linked to education, tourism, value chain processing and marketing in agriculture, specifically coffee and soybeans.

As someone who recently graduated with a degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Antioch University, I have a passion for companies who adopt a social enterprise into their business model. I hope by documenting these two NGOs and their affect on the rural Ugandan community I will be able to spread the benefit of adopting a social cause and encourage more companies to make a difference with their role in our world.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

What message would you like to send to your supporters? It's just a huge honor that people even want to look at my images, to hang my prints on their wall, or to invite me into their world to take their portraits. No contribution is too small, from sharing my story on social media to buying one of my prints. I'm grateful for any and all support.

Support Maria Paula (Ukraine)

Support Maria Paula (Ukraine)

What makes you passionate about helping TERGO (tergo.org.ua)? 

I find the work that Tergo does amazing. To educate people and society about the LGBT community and movement is the best way to create new opportunities for them to be integrated. I think we all deserve the same opportunities to work, to live, to be happy. A lot of people reject or don´t approve people who are “different”, who don´t fit in a stablished way of being approved by society. And most of the times it´s because of ignorance about the subject, maybe if people knew a little bit more about the innumerable attributes those people have, all the suffering they have been through to be accepted, and they could discover that there is a human being that is fighting to win a place in this world, their perception would be different. I think we all have a very different and unique story, and we all have our own struggle and we can be more humans if we could try to understand the person next to us instead of judging her. So, I think the work of this NGO is very serious and brave and it makes me more than happy to be able to help. 

 

How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?  

Photography tells a lot about people, about a society, a country, about their traditions and their personal life. A portrait is a reflection of the soul of the person, it a very good way to describe their feelings. Photography can be a very useful way to help them to be understood, to show the work the NGO is doing to help them. So people can take interest, not only in helping them, but also in approaching them to participate in their activities, to get involved  and be part of the community. 

  

What message would you like to send to your supporters? 

This subject concerns us all. We all have a close friend, a member of our family or even ourselves that belong to the LGBT community. We all have our personal preferences in everything and we deserve the same opportunities as everybody. All together we can learn a lot of this project to apply it to our life. By helping me going to this trip we are helping this NGO creating new opportunities, opening new ways for people not just to be accepted but to open their mind and their hearts to different preferences in life. Together we can help a lot and learn a lot about this to bring it to our social circle and family for more peaceful cexisting. 

You can follow my day a day trip and work through my Instagram @maripomartini and also check the past projects on my website www.maripomartini.net 

Maria’s Bio

Moved by social labor, something I love since I was a little girl, I founded an association named Anima-Ars (www.anima-ars.org) with two friends. We are a group of young people from different working and social areas who work with different artistic sources to encourage people in vulnerable situations, discrimination or disadvantage, to provide them a way to express their problematics and be able to rebuild their path and be reinserted in the social life promoting human development. We have done workshops with girls rescued from human trafficking and sexual slavery, kids with congenital heart disease, and abandoned old people.  

I was born and raised in Mexico City, a huge, polluted, and very crowded city. I studied literature and did my social service with the head of the Botanical Garden, a biologist specialized in cacti, that taught me his love for nature. Attracted by the idea of mixing art and nature, I developed a special interest in science diffusion that drove me to discover a talent in storytelling, to transmit knowledge in a comprehensive way. 

Concurrently, in order to escape a little bit of the stressful life of the city, I found a way to connect with my inner self by climbing mountains and diving deep in the sea. Those two worlds are my passion now a day. All of this drew me closer to photography, land and aerial drone photography, a way to discover the world and discover myself by creating a visual diary. I didn’t just found a way to express my place in this chaotic world and to show what my heart sees, but also to loud the voice and the needs of the people who, by their vulnerable momentary situations, can´t talk by themselves. 

Support Maria Paula (Armenia)

Support Maria Paula (Armenia)

What makes you passionate about helping Society Without Violence (http://www.swv.am)

I am a very proactive about gender equality education to promote women and girls empowerment and live in a society where the rights of all people can be the same. I grew up and live in a very violent country because of the drug dealing problem, where a lot of women disappear, in a very patriarchal society where the “machos” are always the head of the family and women are left behind. I think it is a subject that concerns us all as a worldwide society and there is a lot to do about it.  

 

 

How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?  

The first thing to solve a problem is to see it, to identify it, understand it, and then find the solution to it. I think the best way to show the world what is happening to create consciousness, is through visual images, so we can do something about it. 

Last year I went to India with PWB to work with a foundation named Sambahli Trust and after the work I did with them, I sent the photographs to Mexico and could find a sponsor for the scholarship of 6 girls for 5 years. This work was published on the PWB printed magazine nº 10. 

  

What message would you like to send to your supporters? 

Thanks to all the support of people like you, I was able to do a trip to Malawi last summer to work with an NGO named Drug Fight Malawi and I learnt so much about everything: the NGO, the people I met, the society, the culture, the country, etc. I opened my heart to those people and those people opened their heart to me. Lots of people from Mexico helped the communities, we did a campaign to buy clothes and jackets for the kids in the villages to be warm during the cold winter and it was very successful. You can see it on my website (www.maripomartini.net) and also on my Instagram account @maripomartini 

Every donation counts. Your help can make a difference for people who needs it. 

Thank you for helping.

Maria’s Bio

Moved by social labor, something I love since I was a little girl, I founded an association named Anima-Ars (www.anima-ars.org) with two friends. We are a group of young people from different working and social areas who work with different artistic sources to encourage people in vulnerable situations, discrimination or disadvantage, to provide them a way to express their problematics and be able to rebuild their path and be reinserted in the social life promoting human development. We have done workshops with girls rescued from human trafficking and sexual slavery, kids with congenital heart disease, and abandoned old people.  

I was born and raised in Mexico City, a huge, polluted, and very crowded city. I studied literature and did my social service with the head of the Botanical Garden, a biologist specialized in cacti, that taught me his love for nature. Attracted by the idea of mixing art and nature, I developed a special interest in science diffusion that drove me to discover a talent in storytelling, to transmit knowledge in a comprehensive way. 

Concurrently, in order to escape a little bit of the stressful life of the city, I found a way to connect with my inner self by climbing mountains and diving deep in the sea. Those two worlds are my passion now a day. All of this drew me closer to photography, land and aerial drone photography, a way to discover the world and discover myself by creating a visual diary. I didn’t just found a way to express my place in this chaotic world and to show what my heart sees, but also to loud the voice and the needs of the people who, by their vulnerable momentary situations, can´t talk by themselves. 

Support Preston Slaughter

Support Preston Slaughter

We had a chance to chat with Preston about her upcoming journey.

Preston is a professional world traveler and a passionate story teller. She loves to tell stories, whether it be through her lens, on screen or on paper. Her childhood years were spent growing up in Hong Kong and after studying motion pictures and English literature at University of Miami, she returned to Asia to spend two years teaching English in Thailand. With a background in filmmaking and production, in Thailand she truly discovered her love for still photography and decided to travel the world with her camera in hand. She loves exploring new cultures, connecting with new people and lives for those raw, unedited experiences. Preston loves to shoot instinctively, spontaneously and in the moment. She currently lives in Denver, working as a photographer, a yoga teacher, and a substitute teacher in the charter school system.


What makes you passionate about helping the organization?

As a full-time photographer, a part time teacher, and an active traveler, I fully understand the importance of an open and safe space for children to fully experience their childhood. I currently work in the Charter school system here in Denver, and after traveling to different areas and different schools throughout the city, I have become acutely aware of the drastic impact a student’s environment can have on their learning capacity. Sometimes, simply looking forward to their time at recess or on the playground is a child’s main motivation to learn. In countries like Uganda, where this is not an expectation, but merely an idea or even a dream, I recognize the drastic improvements that the addition of even one playground could make in many childrens’ lives.

How do you believe your photography can make a difference?

I believe a successful image should open up a dialogue. A strong image should make one question, “who, what, where and why?” I aim to tell a story through my photography. My style is vibrant and attention-grabbing. I believe I can make a difference through the stories that my photos tell. The mission of East African Playgrounds is to “provide play facilities and play training for communities, helping children to gain the most out of their childhood.” My goal is to spread this message; to tell a child, a worker, or a town’s specific story. Ultimately, I hope to document the successes of this non-profit in an effort to evoke emotion through imagery. 

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

The message I would like to send my supporters is to follow your dreams. A playground is a blank canvas for children to express themselves. By having a playground accessible to them, East African children will hopefully be able to extend their imagination above and beyond the precincts of their specific town or city. By going on assignment to Uganda, I am following my lifelong dream of being a photojournalist, while simultaneously bringing attention and awareness to this amazing organization. 

Support Leonard Wiens

Support Leonard Wiens

1.     What makes you passionate about helping UBUSHOBOZI (http://www.ubushobozi.org)

Poverty in a country with little opportunity for self-advancement is a strong magnet that holds people at absolute zero.  It is one of the world’s most challenging barriers to overcome on a macro level, and on a personal level, one of the most challenging barriers to self-fulfillment and realization.  I humbly ask anyone to please spend a few moments pondering about how you might try to fight poverty in a country where educational opportunities are simply not as available as where we live. 

Grassroots, economically oriented growth programs like the ones that UBUSHOBOZI run for orphaned girls aren’t simple in set-up, or in realizing their end-goals.  But the kind team that launched UBUSHOBOZI are making great in-roads in combating the cycle of poverty in the girls’ lives that they support, and that sure is something.  Simple concepts can and do change the world that these girls experience.  UBUSHOBOZI are making a difference.

 

2.     How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

It is easy to underestimate the power of images.  On one PWB assignment I am aware of privileged to be on, a simple story a photographer shared via social media garnered 5300 views (and climbing) for the NGO involved.  That’s may not be National Geographic, but it’s still 5300 more people aware (and possibly supporting) the NGO then knew about them in the past.  And photos give NGO’s the ability to more captivatingly tell their stories.  The challenge of a photographer, as I see it, is to do their best to capture the hearts and lives of the people involved – to get out of the way from the people as best as possible so that people peering into the souls of people who need our support and kindness can best understand their role in helping. 

 

3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

There are lots of great projects, great causes and great folks who need help. Frankly, it’s hard for caring folks such as yourself to decide which cause is best to support.  Get involved in any way you are motivated to.  And please consider donating direct to UBUSHOBOZI here:  http://www.ubushobozi.org/donate-1/