PWB Assignment 1993 – Nepal

Q1. Short Bio

My working life to date has been people focused. Firstly as a radiographer (a different kind of photography), before venturing  into Human Resources, where I interact with people on a daily basis.

Photography has always been something I’ve enjoyed but could never find a specific type of photography that felt right for me. That all changed after exposure to several humanitarian photographers. I’ve come to the conclusion that is what I’m best at - capturing people and creating images which show their “mauri” (the Maori for “spirit”! ). It has been a great thrill to work with NGO’s and to provide them with images which resonate.

Q2. What makes you passionate about helping Happy Kids Center Nepal?

Nepal and New Zealand have been inextricably linked since the day in 1953 when Sir Edmond Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay stood together on the top of Mt Everest. We also share the legacy of being earthquake prone countries where nature can rip apart our lives in moment.

But we also have significant differences. New Zealand has wealth which allows us to help our citizens recover from devastating events. In Nepal this is not so much the case. Many people suffer and those that suffer the most are the most vulnerable - largely the children.

Happy Kids Centre was established to help close the gap. By providing education, food and basic health the Happy Kids Centre are altering the course of these children’s lives for the better. No longer labouring before they are physically developed or for girls to be married at the time of their first period, these children now have a chance.

I am passionate about playing a small part in improving their lives.

Q3. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?

I have had the opportunity to spend time with several humanitarian photographers and learn of the power that photographs have. I have also had the privilege to work with two NGO’s in Cambodia and experienced the thrill that comes from seeing my photographs being used by them in a way that benefits those they are working to support.

Many of us will recall specific photographs in our lives, be that the images from 9/11 in New York or Nick Ut’s “Napalm Girl” in the Vietnam war. It may be something closer to home - perhaps a family photo that has always been in your house.  It is not uncommon that such images imprint themselves on us and illicit a deep and heartfelt response.

In the case of this assignment what I will be looking to achieve is to take photographs which Happy Kids Centre will be able to use to gain support for their work.

Q4. What message would you like to send to your supporters?

The lives of these children are something we find difficult to comprehend. There will be few if any links to what we experienced as children or that our children and grandchildren will experience. Yet on a daily basis the children that Happy Kid’s support live in poverty. Without intervention they are unable to break the cycle into which they were born.

Your support for this project will help the NGO improve outcomes for the children!