What makes you passionate about helping your NGO?

I have always believed that every human being have the rights to the five basic needs of life- food, health, education, environmental and socio-economic security. According to statistics, nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day, and more than 1.3 billion live on even less than that in extreme poverty. Upendo is a non-profit organization that works to stabilize these conditions in Oyugis region of Kenya. The area is rural and agrarian, where forestry rights have been sold, and much of the middle generation is gone as a result of HIV/AIDS. What makes me passionate about working with Upendo is the scale in which they work. They are made up of more than 30 community groups, 100 plus sites and nearly 3000 people that works to balance the five sectors of life in the region. From food distribution to developing clinics and schools for orphans, to training in business and farming skills, Upendo’s aim is to “empower the people and make them master of their own destiny.” Having worked in Kenya these past few years through education, I experienced how difficult it is to keep things afloat. So part of it is also curiosity- how is this done? 

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

Photography communicates in ways that words cannot. It can transport you to a place, an experience, give a frame of reference and a powerful statement. It personalizes an experience and gives a better understanding, so the viewers may grasp what the organization stands for and the kind of work they do. I hope to honor Upendo’s work not just through high quality images, but by giving a voice to the uniqueness of people and places involved. I hope in return this will help reach a greater audience for their cause.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

Thank YOU. It is people like you that makes projects like this possible, and I am truly grateful for your support. I will be photographing many sites, many different activities and people to capture Upendo's impact. My aim for this project is to capture each of the five sectors of life, with a focus on individuals that are directly affected. Whenever I can, I will post on social media so you are a part of this journey with me.