Last year, we led a very successful pilot workshop with a new partner in Kenya, Anapendeza. Dedicated to providing job training opportunities, Anapendeza offers work support services to youth and adults with developmental disabilities, targeted to meet the needs of specific employers.
Our partnership with Anapendeza was one of a kind because this was a new area that we had not explored before. Working with young adults with learning and intellectual disabilities was as challenging as it was fun and rewarding. The challenging part was figuring out the best way to teach them the photography skills needed to tell their stories visually. But the minute we put cameras in their hands, it was like we breathed life into their creativity.
The beauty about cameras is that once your eye is on the viewfinder, you experience the world differently. A world that you have walked in before becomes new because of the new angles or perspective that we apply when we take pictures. This is exactly what happened with the young adults at Anapendeza. We gave them a blank canvas for them to create, and boy, did they create! Our rewards came when we saw the delight on their faces when the pictures they had taken appeared at the back of the cameras. That was priceless.
After the initial teething problems, the classes that followed went very, very well. We could see clarity of thought and deliberate actions in the way they framed and set up their pictures. The other instructors at Anapendeza were amazed at the difference that just a few classes had made. Photography had rejuvenated their students; they were engaged and involved which is a big win, especially for students with disabilities.
You can keep the light shining on our Anapendeza family in many ways:
Donate cameras, lenses, accessories (bags, straps, etc.), iPads, smartphones, and cases. Just fill out our form here and we’ll send you details.
Follow our @PhotoStartKids on Instagram. Show them some love by liking and commenting on their posts. Yes, they curate this themselves!
Drop some coins in our piggy bank. While you’re there, create your own fundraising page and invite your friends to participate.
You may think your light is small, but it can make a huge difference in other people’s lives.
Be the Light!