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Copy of Support Maria Paula (Ukraine)

Copy of 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/

Support Susan Czyzo

Support Susan Czyzo

PWB sat down with Susan to discuss her upcoming project with Talking Through Art.

About Susan

Susan's photography journey began with the simple desire to capture better travel photos and has blossomed into a desire to make more of a lasting difference with her images. Recognizing that photography is a luxury far from the reach of many around the world, Susan joined PWB to offer her love of creating meaningful images to organizations in need of assistance.

Susan loves how photography allows her to convey what she and she alone sees, as well as the challenge of capturing the mood of what she's photographing. "There's just so much opportunity for growth with photography, with every session - whether it's a personal trip, a family portrait session, or an overseas adventure... And I just love getting my hands (and clothes) dirty to capture my unique perspective."


1. What makes you passionate about helping Talking Through Art (http://talkingthroughart.org)?

In addition to photography, I work as a physiotherapist, which has allowed me the opportunity to travel to rural communities in developing countries to work with children with disabilities and their families. This has exposed me to a rather harsh reality: people with disabilities in many developing countries have an especially difficult time not only finding work, but being valued by their own communities, making it near impossible to break out of the poverty cycle or make a change to their quality of life. Talking Through Art, by providing vocational training and job opportunities for people with disabilities, is helping to bridge a wide gap of opportunity and respect. Not an easy task by any means, but one I hope will benefit from my passion for providing an accessible stepping stone to these communities, and giving them an opportunity to thrive.


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

Often, it's difficult to understand the reality of a marginalized community without being immersed in it. With my photographs, I hope to bring to life an organization working to provide opportunities for those who are often forgotten, and the people whose lives are changing from their services. With the help of my background in physiotherapy, I hope to show that we're defined by more than our level of ability, and that no matter our circumstances, we all have a valued role to play in our communities.


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


I find it too easy to forget my good fortune in being able to travel the world, whether for a holiday, a volunteer trip or a photography project. With this trip, I will be fulfilling my passion for photography by helping Talking through Art tell their story to people around the world, in the hope of gaining awareness for their cause. I can't thank you enough for helping with this project, whether now with your donation, previously through your encouragement, or in the future with your thoughts. By acknowledging our good fortunes, together we can help improve the lives of those less fortunate than us.

www.bysusanczyzo.com


Support Jon Lloyd

Support Jon Lloyd

We had a chance to sit down with Jon and discuss his upcoming trip to Huvadhoo Aid

After attending the PWB photography school I anxiously went to the programs page where almost 75 opportunities in 40 different countries were posted. There were so many amazing NGOs but my strongest association was the Huvadhoo Aid organization in the Maldives. Having been born and raised on a Pacific island, and having lived within 10 miles of the ocean for most of my life, I'm deeply connected to the water. The incredible work done through this team called to my heart. 

In their own words, The major focus areas of the organization are democratic governance, environment and climate change, youth and women empowerment, drug and substance abuse prevention and community development. We seek to strengthen our actions for sustainable development and poverty alleviation in the community by promoting equity and equality. We also implement international volunteer program inviting foreigners to work with our programs and projects.

http://www.huvadhooaid.org/

The Maldives is a stunningly turquoise country that stretches over 1,000 islands across nearly 500 miles. Having traveled here with my family in 2016, we found the people to be warm, welcoming, and friendly! One of the fondest moments of the trip was when we stumbled across a small soccer field at one of the islands we visited. When they found out my youngest daughter was a competitive player (footballer to them), they invited her back the next day, even bringing her a new pair of cleats (boots). That hour they played in the pouring rain was full of laughter and smiles. 

My hope is to capture some magical moments and personal stories that will help Huvadhoo Aid continue their amazing work across this island. 

Support Andrea Musso

Support Andrea Musso

We had a chance to sit down with Andrea Musso and chat about his upcoming trip to Mil Milagros, in Guatemala.

 

What makes you passionate about helping MM?

As a photographer I love 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 for children is always amazing, as they are our future, and this is true in any country. I am honoured to help MM in their work and I hope they will profit from my knowledge to fulfill the project.

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.

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 understand better and faster the idea behind the project.

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

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

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.

 

Support Alan Lane

Support Alan Lane

Bio

Since a very young age I have been interested in other cultures and people’s well-being, in particular those who are less fortunate. After serving in the Iraq War while I was a United States Marine and returning to civilian life, I found myself drawn to returning overseas as an instructor to pursue my interest in other cultures and to impart my experience and knowledge to help keep those I was teaching safe in a combat environment. This took me to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bosnia. In each country I found the learning about and connecting with other cultures to be very invigorating, and increased my interest in doing more.  

In recent years, as I have developed my photography, videomaking and storytelling in mini-“documentaries”, I found that photography in particular has been an avenue where I am able to connect to and help those who are less economically fortunate, those of whom in the global community who are deserving of their stories being told and shared in order to, one, connect on a human level with those who are often forgotten, and two, to help create awareness in, and promote action from, those who want to share their support and blessings with others. This photographic journey has led me to do some important work within my own community, particularly with an elderly population who are challenged by some significant physical and mental challenges, and who are often left by the wayside by family members.  

Spending time with them and capturing their often-indomitable spirit has led to a connection that is lasting and very meaningful for all involved. This connection has also made its presence known during my two trips to Kingston, Jamaica over the last year while visiting and documenting some of the lives of the poorest of the poor. The camera has allowed me to establish a very intimate connection between myself and the people (I prefer to say “the souls”) that I encounter. It is a very sacred space that I am allowed into and I do not take it lightly or for granted. My hope and desire are to continue this type of work wherever I go and whoever I connect with, believing that we are all responsible for and tasked with using and sharing our gifts to better the world around us. 

What makes you passionate about helping Azizi Life (https://www.azizilife.com

I have long been passionate about the well-being of those on the fringes of society, people who are often overlooked and forgotten by the communities they live in and the world at large. Azizi Life’s commitment and mission to help support local artisans and their beautiful and hand-crafted work, along with other aspects of community life, such as adult literacy and Bible study classes, aligns with my own values and beliefs, and I am excited to partner with them and the people they support.  

As their website states, the income that is generated by the artisans “not only helps to cover their daily needs, but also provides them with a sense of control over their own futures.”  One woman mentioned is Jeannine, who says that “she was able to invest some of her money in a couple of pigs for breeding and selling.” Such ways of life are not often experienced in the Western world, and are often unknown or maybe misunderstood by the global community. Through grass-roots organizations like Azizi Life such exposure and true and lasting change can and does happen, and it is a blessing to play a part in the work that they do. 

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

Photography, at its best, can be and is a vehicle and powerful tool to help promote awareness and initiate action with regard to social ills and issues, assisting those who are working with and for those in our local and global communities whose voice is not often heard, those whose gifts and talents are often not seen as worthwhile, marketable, or even present.  

I believe my photography will heighten awareness about the work that is being done by Azizi Life and the people that are affected by that work, and will result in, I believe, a body of work that can be used at and on various levels within the organization to help further their cause. A key to me, in all of that, and what I believe I am gifted at, is to be able to connect with the local people in a way that people viewing their pictures, on whatever medium is used, have a good sense of their beauty, dignity and value in order to better humanize them, illustrate some of what they offer to humankind and create the desire within potential supporters to help in whatever way they can.  

To see some of my work from Jamaica, please visit https://alandavidlane.wixsite.com/dignifiedphotography

What message would you like to send to your supporters? 

For those who know me, you know that I have a compassionate heart, shown through the service I try to extend to people in need of attention, time, and a giving and loving heart. These qualities are what I try to incorporate through my photography. I have had the good fortune of doing so in Jamaica and in my local community with an assisted living center. The connection I have been able to make with the people who are being cared for, and the resulting photographs that were a result of that connection, is life-giving and affirming as both a human being and as a photographer.  

It is in that sacred space that I have been allowed into that I will be carrying with me to my trip to Rwanda in March of 2019 in support of Azizi Life (https://azizilife.com), partnering with them to help both document and explore the work and lives of local artisans and the community of which they live. Doing so will further promote and make aware the desire and need of both the local and global communities to, in their own way, support the work that is being done in order to help folks provide a living and sustainable wage for themselves and their families.  

Support Kelly Schovanek

Support Kelly Schovanek

What makes you passionate about helping Pastoralist?

Pastoralist Child Foundation is an organization on the front lines in Kenya, dedicated to stopping the practice of female genital mutilation. They believe in a woman's ability to sexual self-determination, educational choice and social responsibility.   Through educational workshops, they aim to enhance communities knowledge on topics like teen pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health, child marriage and gender equality.   I admire that they have taken on this complex issue, and am honoured and eager to help them achieve their goals.  They offer an ambitious curriculum that is  vital in creating positive, healthy futures for the Maasai and Samburu communities they work with. 

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

I do not believe that I am there to simply take photographs.   I am there to form relationships with the people, to understand them.  I have an eagerness to learn who they are, and for them to learn from me as well. I believe that this relationship helps establish trust, which as a photographer is incredibly important in creating images that are more than 2 dimensional.   It is my hope that those that see the image will understand this bond through the photo. I believe that this is necessary in making the imagery of this campaign captivating to those it reaches.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

Thanks so much! There are a thousand people on social media asking for donations to their causes.  Please know that this is a good one.  I have been researching this subject, and with all sincerity Female Genital Mutilation is horrific, and has no place in any culture.  It appropriates a women's right to self-determination, her right to her own sexual choices, and is the result of a subversive patriarchal system. Girls as young as 5 are forcefully held down by loved ones that have betrayed their trust. Their legs are forced apart , and their vaginas are sliced off, sometimes by dull razors, sometimes with no antiseptic.  They scream, they bleed.  Physically they take a long time to heal. Mentally and emotionally they may never heal.

Support Erin Shepley

Support Erin Shepley

What makes you passionate about helping Raintree?

The Raintree Foundation is an incredible organization and I really love how they focus on helping people in rural and underdeveloped communities in Thailand. I felt compelled to work with them as I firmly believe in their work and how they're trying to create change. Their goal is to give people hope and opportunity for the future - they believe in doing this through education and providing people with the tools and knowledge to be successful in their own environment by creating jobs and an overall more stable and safe living situation. They focus quite a bit on child development and are involved in several community projects including village schools, water supply systems and clean drinking water. I wholeheartedly agree with their mission and approach and feel honoured that I will be documenting their daily efforts to make change happen. My love of children and photography will hopefully come through in the images I create for them.

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

My goal will be to really immerse myself in Raintree's day to day work and capture their passion and love of wanting to help and empower people. My hope for this organization is that they can use the images I take to reach out to more people via their website, social media etc. I want the images to tell the story of how they want to better their community and hopefully the photos will inspire people to donate or contribute to such a great cause.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

I am so grateful to you for your support and for wanting to give to this amazing project and foundation. I promise I will do my best to make the most out of your generous donation by working hard and giving back as much as I can while visiting Chiang Mai and afterwards as well.

Support Arielle Gallione

Support Arielle Gallione

Hi! My name is Arielle, and I am a full-time wedding photographer, part-time personal trainer based outside of Chicago, Illinois. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Exercise Science in 2013, and it was during college that my life-long intrigue toward photography turned into a tangible passion. I have been freelancing full-time since 2015, and I have been very fortunate to travel to make art. While I spend most of my time behind the lens shooting veils and first-kisses, street and documentary photography provides me with a sense of fulfilment that I cannot accurately put into words. I am incredibly humbled to have been brought on board with Photographers Without Borders.

What makes you passionate about helping Fountain Youth?

I am eager to help the Fountain Youth Initiative because I firmly believe that every child deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. Children are a beacon of hope in a world that is too often plagued by divisiveness and evil, and their empowerment is vital for change. I hope to create work that highlights the mission and vision of the organization, and I am looking forward to being immersed into the culture and lifestyle of those around me as I work.

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

I believe that my photography can make a difference for Fountain Youth Initiative because I have an innate ability to capture raw, organic emotion through portraiture; and I hope to evoke not only empathy, but action. If my images cause an onlooker to think, “What can I do to help?”, I will have done my job.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

Working as a freelance artist is not easy. I have experienced debilitating stress and self-doubt, and there have been times in which I was not sure whether or not I had made the right decision in pursuing my passion full-time. With that being said, I would not be here today without the encouragement and support of those around me. Thank you for supporting me in this endeavor. I am truly grateful.

Support Joanne Chui

Support Joanne Chui

My name is Joanne Chui.  I'm from west coast Canada. I stuck around in London England after studying a Masters in Nutrition for Global Health.  I enjoy exploring different cultures and new places from the top of the mountains to the bottom of the sea. On weekends I can be found hanging on the side of a rock.  My photography and international development career began simultaneously in Swaziland when I realized the importance of food and health.  My goal is to not only capture our beautiful planet but also how life interacts with the environment. 

What makes you passionate about helping One Prosper?

One Prosper works to empower girls in Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India to break the cycle of poverty. Working in international development, one of the recurring themes is to invest in women and girls to help them thrive. The health and well-being of women directly benefit the family.  One Prosper does just this by bringing clean water, education and better nutrition to underprivileged girls. I'm excited to be able to help the organization and join my two passions of photography and development work.  

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

Storytelling and photos have the power to move us.  By photographing One Prosper, I hope to shed light on the work and its impact it has on their lives so One Prosper can continue changing lives of young women.

What message would you like to send to your supporters?

Thank you for your generosity and support! It's because of you that One Prosper has the opportunity to tell their story to more people and continue empowering young girls.  Together we can make a difference. Every little bit counts! 

Support Miki Iwamura

Support Miki Iwamura

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. 

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. 

What makes you passionate about helping TCC and NAI?

Aside from photography, I have alot of interest in using a social enterprise to bring attention and sustainability to a problem that needs to be addressed. In 2014 I left UCLA to finish my degree in a Social Entrepreneurship program at Antioch University Los Angeles. Before I made the switch, all of my courses were fairly straight forward: accounting, finance, writing a business model, but none of my classes really touched on how to use these skills to fix real-world problems. It wasn't until I was at Antioch when I started to see how a sustainable business model could confront problems like bringing clean water to a region or lifting a community out of poverty.

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

I'm great at gaining a certain level of intimacy with my subject matter, and that tends to show in my images. I'm also great at coming into an organization that feels a little impersonal online and creating moving portraits of the people that benefit from all the good work they do. With past jobs my photography has connected well with supporters, donors and stakeholders, so my hope is to capture intimate portraiture and documentary images that help grow their organization.

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 Kyle Zehr

Support Kyle Zehr

I love stories. They help to shape who we are and can leave lasting impacts on our lives and communities. My own story is that for years I have been a photographer, videographer and creative.  However, over the past ten years or so I have had numerous opportunities to travel internationally to tell stories through video and photography. My experiences in being abroad have led me to take my skills more seriously with regard to storytelling. Most of these experiences have involved development, under-resourced communities of men, women and children, healing from genocide and then also documenting relationships and changes that have been seen. In all of my work, I aim to promote dignity while sharing hope within a given reality. Everywhere I go, I long to tell stories that promote dignity, healing and restoration.

My international experience has taken me to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Haiti and Rwanda. This new experience of partnering with Mil Milagros is such an honor and I can’t wait to help them tell their story! I currently reside in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to leading a community of artists in a church community, I also serve as the staff photographer and videographer of a community development nonprofit within the heart of urban Milwaukee. 

Mil Milagros is doing important work feeding children and building capacities of teachers and women to implement and sustain changes in the lives of their children, schools and communities. This trip will most certainly open my eyes in fresh ways as to how to better tell stories that need to be told while also preparing me for the next opportunities to serve. I can’t wait to get started.

1. What makes you passionate about helping MM? 

I think Mil Milagros is doing awesome work. In my travels, I’ve seen a lot of children in impoverished communities that aren’t given a chance to thrive. The fact that Mil Milagros is concerned with sustainability for women’s and children’s health and education means they are looking to the future. These kids’ lives matter and the programs they have created to help address malnutrition and further child development give them the best chances for sustainability. I’m excited to see how I can capture moments of transformation and help them further their mission. I want to use my love of storytelling to help them share possibilities and celebrate the good that’s already happening.

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

My work comes from a place that desires to celebrate hope and healing as well as promote change and dignity. I’m constantly looking for ways to see the good in what might otherwise be considered a struggle. There are present realities that people need to understand, but there is also good to be found. In my years of experience, much of my work has focused around communities involving children in less than desirable environments involving children in need of proper nutrition and basic needs. I’ve seen the effects of malnutrition as well as basic provision and how it is a starting point for development and sustainability. Having a knowledge of such programs, I believe that my experience in storytelling and underlying desire to inspire while giving dignity will hopefully be an asset to them as they seek to tell their stories of ongoing development. I long to tell a visually, truthful narrative that celebrates the story of hope and progress.

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

Thank you so much for your support and donation! It’s because of people like you that Mil Milagros can tell their story to a much larger audience and continue the work that they are doing. By donating to this project, you’ve provided them with an opportunity to have their work documented in such a way that supports and enables them to reach more people and helps build donor support for the communities of women and children they serve.

Support Madigan Cotterill

Support Madigan Cotterill

  1. What makes you passionate about helping Niños de Guatemala?

    Niños de Guatemala is an organization that aims to provide underprivileged children in Guatemala with an education, while also ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of the students. Guatemala is often portrayed as a country that offers beautiful landscapes with unique experiences that travellers can partake in. However, over 50% of the population in Guatemala lives in poverty and 30% of children do not finish first grade. Along with providing quality education, Niños de Guatemala also ensures the students receive two balanced meals a day as well as basic medical and dental care. I am passionate about helping Niños de Guatemala because I want to help evoke change within areas of Guatemala that experience poverty through the use of my camera. I have always been very motivated to use my camera as a tool to open others up and expose them to the world around me. My goal as a photographer is to capture images that create an emotive response, while urging people to make a change and take action against issues around the world.

     

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

    Photography is often seen as a universal language, as anyone who has access to an image is able to “read” and understand it. Photography also has the power to expose the viewer to situations and events that they may not otherwise be aware of in their day-to-day lives. I believe my photography can help make a difference to Niños de Guatemala, because it will help to tell the story of individuals within the area, and urge people to help make a change. By creating a connection between the image and the viewer I hope to bring attention to issues of poverty and lack of education within Guatemala.

     

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

    I would like to thank my supporters for their contributions, and remind them that change is possible when people come together and work towards a common cause. I will do my best to capture images and stories of the individuals who are helped by Niños de Guatemala, and assist in spreading the word about issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. Any donations and contributions are greatly appreciated, and will be put towards bettering the lives of individuals and children who are being helped by the organization. 

Support Charlotte Hodges

Support Charlotte Hodges

 

Born in California and brought up traveling the world with deep cultural roots set in salty costal Mexico, Charlotte L. Mignot Hodges could truly be considered a citizen of the world. An explorer with incredible emotional sensitivity and curiosity for the world that surrounds her. To the delight of all those around her, her instinct to relate to others began to express very early in her life through writing and visual art. Fluent in multiple languages and cultures, themes of interconnectivity, solidarity and responsibility for the environment are common in her work. She’s honest with herselfand challenges her community to be the same way. On the floor and walls of her home, in countless journals, and recently through her travel blogs, website and various expositions, Charlotte has created as she lived, laying bare the evolution of her mind and personality. 

While it is certain that she could find inspiration in her own garden, her path so far in life has taken her around the world and back. Following her passions she has sought out various forms of hands on learning experience, as well as studied at multiple centers and universities where she acquired a yoga teacher certification at the White lotus Foundation, a PDC (permaculture design certificate) at Quail Springs, and a Community Herbalist Certificate at Pacific Rim College. At the moment Charlotte is currently enrolled in Naropa University, basedin Boulder, Colorado from which she continues to passionately express and pursue her art.

Photographers spoke to Charlotte about her upcoming trip to capture Epic Arts in Cambodia. 

WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH EPIC ARTS?

As an artist working through various mediums and studying Early Childhood Education, I have always thought art should be an integral aspect to any education. Having volunteered in several different educational programs in the United States and abroad, I have come to realize the importance of art, and play, in our learning processes. From an early age I have aspired to become an artist of life, and have continued my seeking since to become involved in organizations and programs working along this path. What makes me passionate about helping Epic Arts is the opportunity it presents to help a society grow by shedding new light on a subject (on a people) who have long been misunderstood or overlooked. Although I have never travelled to Cambodia, I have felt many times before in my travels around the globe that humanity has missed many opportunities by segregating those we have labeled as ”different”. Perhaps it is only through encountering hardships and obstacles along our paths that we find our true strengths and inner gifts. I am amazed of the limited view our societies have construed around what it means to be human —and I am in awe and in complete admiration of individuals who have embraced their disabilities and developed other strengths in response. There is true inspiration for us all to be found and learned from in these journeys of self discovery and I feel very honored to be able to take part in the process. 

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

I would hope that my photography can offer a clear view of both the outer workings as well as the inner light of the students and facilities at Epic Arts. I truly believe that something as simple as an image presenting  a positive perspective can be life changing —in helping the subjects acknowledge and accept themselves and in transforming societies views of them. By portraying the truths of these people’s lives and situations while focusing on the steps they are taking to flip their fortunes, I hope to join a growing team of diverse individuals working towards bettering opportunities of empowerment and inclusivity. For, I believe we have much to learn from these experiences in accepting and growing from disability  —if we could open ourselves to this, our world would be much more complete and all the better for it.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND TO YOUR SUPPORTERS?

 I think it is important to support that which we wish to see more of in the world around us, rather than fight what we are against. I believe that we manifest what we set our energies to. Hence we become that which we fight, or vise versa, that which we support. That being said, wether your support comes from your heart, your pockets, or both —I would  like to thank you for contributing to a cause beyond your own self. 

Visit Charlotte's Website  

Support Matt Stirn

Support Matt Stirn

I am an environmental archaeologist and photographer from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Through science and visual storytelling, I am interested in the relationship people have with their environments around the world and how that has changed over time. I am a national fellow at The Explorer’s Club and have worked as a documentary photographer on archaeological and conservation projects across the world, and as Photographer in Residence at the British School in Athens. I am always thrilled to work on new stories and excited to see where they might lead! My work can be found in National Geographic Adventure, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Wild Planet Magazine, and Misadventures Magazine. 

Photographers Without Borders asked Matt a few questions about his upcoming trip. 

WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH AZUERO?

When I first came across the Azuero Earth Project through PWB, I was immediately drawn to it. Panama is a place that at least for me, draws constant images of dense jungle and pristine rainforest. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and in many parts of the country, the rainforest has largely been replaced by agricultural plots and plantations. It’s rapidly disappearing. The Azuero Peninsula on the Pacific coast is one of the hardest hit. The Azuero Earth Project is seeking to make a difference and by working with local communities, they are actively rehabilitating old rainforest and ensuring the preservation of important habitats that are in critical danger of being lost forever.

I personally come from a science background and was attracted by the emphasis that Azuero Earth puts on education, outreach, and their local community. Far too often I’ve seen field research and conservation work benefit those in charge, but not necessarily the people who call that place home. Azuero Earth, however, takes a different approach. They believe that meaningful and lasting change comes from within the community and works outwards, drawing in others and slowly growing. From their conservation work accomplished thus far, it’s easy and inspiring to see how they have succeeded in their mission of sustainable conservation at a local level. I am thrilled to be able to participate in their work and excited to learn about their struggles, successes, and future goals.

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

In today’s world, words like conservation, endangered, research, and data are everywhere. From mainstream news to social media campaigns, there is constantly a flood of facts being pushed upon us. While much of this information, especially in terms of conservation and climate change, is of great importance, it is often difficult to relate to numbers and statistics, and the messages can get lost amongst the noise of everyday life. I believe that photography offers a solution to this problem. People can relate to a face, an animal, or a stunning landscape a lot better than a statistic. The Azuero Earth project is accomplishing some amazing feats in terms of rainforest rehabilitation, conservation, and climate change research. I hope that by using photography and visual storytelling, I will be able to document and spread their important message to a wide audience.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND TO YOUR SUPPORTERS?

First and foremost, thank you so very much for your support. In completing this work I am excited to share the story of an organization in Panama that is going above and beyond to make a difference in conservation and our understanding of climate change. These issues are of critical importance right now and I am inspired help document a group that is really making a difference and offering a solution to an overwhelming problem.

Visit Matt's website here

Support Annalise Kaylor

Support Annalise Kaylor

 

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

Support Lacey Dippold

Support Lacey Dippold

Lacey Dippold's first calling in life is to be a mother. The second is to be a photographer. She is a natural light photographer based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Lacey will be travelling with PWB to capture Boomers. 

PWB asked Lacey a few questions about her upcoming trip. 

WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH BOOMERS?

I have been shooting professionally for five years and have always loved documenting projects that have a purpose.  For the past five years, I have been searching for a place to make an impact using my skills in photography.  A photo can be enormously powerful.  It can bring awareness, spread passion and create an instant connection with its viewer.  When this is paired with a story, the impact is even more powerful.  I know that I can bring that connection to others through my photography with Boomers.

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

I have four daughters and their future is enormously important to me.  I have sought out the best schools and curriculum, even in Kindergarten, to make sure they are being set up for success.  I firmly believe that education starts very early.  Not having that opportunity for them is terrifying.  I absolutely love the fact that Boomers cares about the education for young people in Ghana and wants to give them that same opportunity.  I find that people can forget that there are places out there where education is not a birthright.  Where we forget that a culture is different from ours.  I want to bring this to the forefront of as many minds as I can, starting with my own and my children.  To make a bigger difference, we must start with making an impact where we can and spread that like ripples.  I want to be a part of this ripple effect and I know photography can do just that.  I want to look into the faces of those people in Ghana who are a part of the difference and who have been a recipient of it.  I want to hear their stories and feel their hearts and bring that to the people of the world.

WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEND YOUR SUPPORTERS?

I am so grateful for my supporters partnering with me on this adventure.  Without them, this would not be a possibility.  The difference starts with them and together we can bring awareness about Boomers.

Visit Lacey's website here .