Photo Start is honored to be partnering in the community of Kajiado, Kenya with Rebirth of a Queen. A women’s shelter and support initiative, Rebirth of a Queen mentors, empowers, and assists survivors of gender-based and domestic violence through sustainable solutions. Their mission is to protect, educate, and walk with a survivor through a holistic, healing journey and enable them to realize humanity’s potentials through networking and linkages.

We share the belief that every survivor of domestic violence and gender-based violence deserves a life of dignity with equal access to safety, healing, education, and economic prosperity. Photo Start’s digital photography and storytelling program is helping survivors heal by showing them how to visually tell their own stories. Additionally, we are teaching them a variety of professional and life skills that will connect them to opportunities for success.

Weekly classes began on June 6, 2021, with 18 students aged 4 – 21 learning the parts of a digital camera and composition basics. Last week, 3 new students joined the class, which was an excellent time to demonstrate our “Each One, Teach One” model. During the practical session, newbies were paired with more experienced students to catch up on previous lessons. By training students to mentor each other as they advance through courses, we develop their leadership and communication skills.

Trainer Gillian reports from the ground that students “are now comfortable and confident asking questions in class and are not as shy as they used to be when the classes started…. The students have really improved on focusing and having clear pictures.”

By showing compassion and consideration for these young women and children, Rebirth of a Queen is the prime example of humanity in action. Anyone can overcome challenges with a little help from their friends and neighbors.

Photo Start at Rebirth of a Queen
A Photo Start student from Rebirth of a Queen practicing her photography.

Check out more photos and stories in our 3rd Quarter NewsFlash. We packed a lot into the last three months including two graduations, two virtual exhibits, and one live exhibition in Kibagare, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

“We all do better when we all do better.” —Senator Paul Wellstone

On #GivingTuesday (November 30, 2021), we will be uniting with the world to celebrate humanity and explore generosity. In the meantime, you can support us by donating your voice. Share our story on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, and tell your followers why they should follow, like and share our posts.

Here are the Top 6 reasons to make Photo Start your charity of choice on Giving Tuesday 2021:

  1. According to the United Nations, half of the world’s population is still offline; “As the world becomes more digitally dependent, it threatens to exclude those that remain disconnected.” Photo Start is working to close this digital divide by teaching digital photography, computer skills and internet communications.
  2. Our innovative program promotes social-emotional learning by encouraging students to explore their world – to focus on the details, to shift their perspective, to always ask, “why?”. We are nurturing the vision and compassion of the leaders of tomorrow, who will impact their communities for generations to come.
  3. Talent is universal. Opportunity is not. We are changing that. Providing free digital photography lessons, donated cameras, and tech gear, Photo Start teaches important professional and life skills which put a bright future in the focus of students in under-resourced & marginalized communities.
  4. Photography integrates science, technology, digital production, the arts, and storytelling for a low-cost, high-value, high-quality education.
  5. Using photography and video to connect children and young adults with new opportunities for success, Photo Start aims to catalyze students’ economic advancement, creative talents and personal well-being.
  6. Since 2016, we have provided more than 800 students with 27,000+ hours of theoretical and practical classes, free of charge. To date, 50 students have graduated to become trainers to younger children in the Photo Start program.

Photo Start is Silver-certified on GuideStar as a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing children’s education. We partner with youth charities, schools and NGOs in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States, and we need your support to handle requests for more programs in Africa and North America.

To learn more about our incredible partner, Rebirth of a Queen, visit their website at https://rebirthofaqueen.org/.

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