From Our Executive Director, David Lehman.
Back in my high school days, I started a club called Do Something About It (DSAI). It was inspired by my dad who belonged to a similar club when he was in school. The goal was to bond fathers and sons in the work of helping others.
Do Something About It was, arguably, the first indication of my philanthropic aspirations. The club I started was rather well attended and our end of year goal was to raise money for the people in East Timor, which we did with a bake sale!
I still have not been to East Timor, and do not know anyone there anymore. But, the mantra, “Do Something About It,” is one I live by, and frankly has always been the animating principle of Photo Start.
After a few trips to Africa where I met so many children in need, I decided to do something about it. I knew that teaching the art, science, and business of photography would help close the digital divide, break the cycle of poverty, and strengthen the community.
Enlisting my sister, Abby, and our good friend, CJ, we decided to do something about it. We came up with a sustainable program that would support students, their families, and their communities for years to come. We call this putting a future in focus.
That was 2016, and since then we have provided 23 Partners with 40,000+ hours of lessons to 1000+ students in 4 countries… We are doing something!
Necessity is the mother of invention.
The pandemic increased the need for our education programs, but lockdowns suspended in-person classes with many of our Partners. So, again, we decided to do something about it. We developed Eric’s Circle of Light, an online curriculum teaching photography and storytelling skills. This program allowed us to expand, adding Partners in Uganda (2020) and the United States (2021).
We are growing again in 2022, with plans to launch in Israel and Iraq later this year. To be successful, we need more resources. YOU can do something about that!
I encourage you to take action today to lift up our students and break down obstacles to opportunity. To celebrate our 6th anniversary, consider donating to Eric’s Circle of Light. Just $6 will give a student a memory card to keep their photos. $60 will give two students a month of photography lessons!
It’s heartwarming knowing that Photo Start had something to do with with Hayron escaping gang life and with Sarah being featured in The New York Times and starting a photography career. And seeing the smiles on children’s faces – well, that feeling is out of this world!
For 2022, we are inviting you to join our league of do-gooders. You can Be An Action! Hero for our students and for children in need in your own community.
Keep an eye out for future blog posts, sharing more ways you can do something about it. Follow our social channels for ways you can take action to strengthen and uplift young people in marginalized and under-resourced areas around the globe.
Let’s do something super-fantastic together!