Written by Lisa Cummings, Photography by Caroline Petters
Sant Kumar had the spark of an idea for IndoRelief when on a service trip to India. He discovered the poor living and healthcare conditions that the lower caste system has to pull themselves through. Kumar decided to use his American education to help those who don’t have the resources to properly help themselves. His foundation proved to be so necessary to those in need of resources in India that he decided to extend a helping hand to newly-landed refugees living in the outskirts of Calais, France.
After PWB photographer Caroline Petters visited The Jungle outside of Calais where IndoRelief does its aid work, she came to the same conclusion about the people the Kumar had in India. These people are hardworking and just want a better life for themselves and their families, but just don’t have the resources to get there, Petters said.
Petters’s photographs from The Jungle show a hardworking community made up of aid workers and refugee families all working together for one common goal: to make a home for those who have lost theirs. Her photos are shocking because, despite the volunteer’s best efforts, the living situations for refugees are far from home-like. The shock is also increased because The Jungle exists within a developed country mere kilometres away from a metropolitan city.
Petters ends her photo series on an uplifting note with photos of tender moments between refugees and volunteers showing that even in a destitute place the sun can still shine.
About the photographer: Caroline Petters is a New York-based lifestyle photographer who aims to tell the stories of people who cannot find the words due to language barriers to tell it themselves. Petters uses her photography to create a conversation about her subjects. Connecting with her subjects on such an emotional level has taken a toll on Petters as, during her latest trip in The Jungle, she at times felt hopeless. In the end, all those negative feelings were taken and turned into a valuable lesson: her listening to other’s stories was a gift in itself.
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- See more at: http://www.photographerswithoutborders.org/past-projects/2016/5/3/indo-relieflauberge-calais-france#sthash.FCqsPCia.dpuf