Annalise Kaylor is an Atlanta-based contemporary portrait photographer specializing modern portraiture and NGO & humantiarian photojournalism. She will be travelling to Ghana to document the work of Boomers International. We sat down with Annalise to ask her a few questions before her trip.

WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH BOOMERS INTERNATIONAL?

All of my life, I’ve been passionate about sustainability projects, and have specifically sought out causes and organizations that understand that empowering people and changing lives is a huge part of creating a more sustainable world. Booomers International, does exactly that and more.  The more I looked into their work, the more I knew I needed to help tell their story and share their powerful mission with the world.

I was drawn to the Booomers project because they are a great example of how social enterprise can lift people up and make a positive impact locally, but also on a global scale.  Booomers has created a place for rural youth to learn about all aspects of business, from working with supply chain in procuring bamboo from Ghanan farmers to manufacturing and crafting their bamboo products.  Soon, they can add sustainable farming to that list, as they just bought a 50-acre parcel of land to start farming their own bamboo, too. Bamboo is fast-growing, thriving in soil conditions that are often inhospitable to other plants, and a single acre of bamboo can fix approximately 25 metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide in a year!  All of this work combined - sourcing, farming, manufacturing - has resulted in a small, but important online shop, selling bamboo bike frames and products so the money can be invested back into their enterprise.

Bikes are everywhere in Ghana, and with good reason - towns, schools, and basic needs are often many miles apart.  The Booomers Bike to School programs improves the lives of vulnerable Ghanan children, especially the girls, by providing them with bikes to get to and from school.  Their work also helps support literacy development, as the Ghana Educational Service reported in 2010, that 64% of school children could not effectively read or write. And further, Booomers helps support a scholarship program so those children have the basic needs for school - supplies and their uniform - taken care of.  

HOW DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEM?

In order for great organizations like Booomers to continue to grow, they need powerful marketing materials like videos and photography.  By donating my time and talent, I will create new videos that could help them earn more grants, seek private donations that help them expand their reach, and help their voices be heard.  

I spent nearly two decades in digital marketing before making the career change to full-time visual storytelling. For me, that change was largely based around my passion for amplifying the voices of those who need to be heard most. My background in marketing helps me take the strategic needs of the business side of an organization and translate those needs into compelling narrative told through my photography and videography.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND YOUR SUPPORTERS?

In supporting me, and this project, those who choose to donate will be helping me help the people of rural Ghana, and specifically the children of rural Ghana.  Because this project taps into my passions for sustainability in farming and education and literacy for all, I can tell the Booomers story effectively, and with a fresh perspective.

Visited Annalise's website here