It has been two years now since I met Mom Carol and her orphanage Ikageng Itireleng. Working with her and some of the children in her programme has become an important part of my life and the more I get involved in this project, the more my awareness grows towards other socially conscious projects, charity organisations and big-hearted people around me.
On this journey of mine I stumbled upon Help-Portrait and joined this fantastic project (the South African based one called Ubuntu Help-Portrait) last year. The core mission of this worldwide project is for photographers (amateurs and professionals alike) to come together, go out and take portraits of individuals and communities in need, have them printed and give them back to these individuals – many of whom never had their picture taken ever in their life before.
This experience has been extremely humbling, motivating and uplifting and at the same time, it has proven to me over and over again, that my camera is no good to anyone if it just sits on the shelf on my “off-days”. But it can do wonders if I take it to places where there would not otherwise be a camera!
I confess: I got seriously addicted to this business of “giving back” and so I am over the moon that Ubuntu Help-Portrait has launched additional sister-projects this year to get involved in. One of them is called 4PBO´s which involves public benefit organisations that help the needy and do not have a budget to hire a professional photographer for their events and marketing requirements. As an events photographer, that is right up my alley! I am extremely excited that I can assist dedicated people in giving their brand a more professional look which will ultimately result in reaching a bigger audience of potential funders. At the end of the day, this means helping more needy people.
The most recent events I had signed up for were “Meal Packaging Events”
by Stop Hunger Now South Africa – an organisation dedicated to “working together to end hunger in Southern Africa”.
They organise and coordinate events in which bulk food gets repackaged into portions which then gets distributed predominantly to support feeding programmes in schools and orphanages. This does not only provide hungry children with food but also gets them to come to school in the first place. What a powerful concept!
Not only are these events for an extremely good cause, they are also a lot of fun for the volunteers involved in the packing of the meals, as well as the photographers covering the day´s proceedings.
How can anyone not get infected by the positive vibes oozing from the people present?!! … happy with themselves for giving up some of their time for a worthy cause.
And apart from all this happiness, I have also learnt some important facts and I guess I am not the only one shocked to learn that in South Africa alone, there are over 3 million children that go hungry every day of their lives.
This has to change!
Two years ago I did not realise it – but now I know: The ways to get involved to make a difference are endless!
And how about you? Would you like to learn more about Ubuntu Help-Portrait and 4PBO’s? Do you have a spirit for giving back? Why don’t you read more about the project or even better still get involved? You can register online! C’mon – no time like the present! You will not regret it – you have my word!