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.