PhotoAid Global partners with Workaid.

PhotoAid Global is the UK based photography service that connects photographers to charities and NGOs both here in the UK and abroad, and also curates exhibitions to drive awareness and revenue for good causes.

PhotoAid Partners with Workaid. Left to right Rob Levine of Workaid, Vanessa Champion of PhotoAid and David Newton lead trainer for PhotoAid who is running the first course. Photo credit Angus Thomson.

PhotoAid Partners with Workaid. Left to right Rob Levine of Workaid, Vanessa Champion of PhotoAid and David Newton lead trainer for PhotoAid who is running the first course. Photo credit Angus Thomson.

Workaid, winner of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, tackles poverty by providing disadvantaged people with the tools they need to learn a skilled trade and earn a living. Since 1986, Workaid has helped around 100,000 disadvantaged people to break the cycle of poverty and build better lives for themselves and their families. 

How did the partnership come about?

Dr Vanessa Champion is founder of PhotoAid and lives in Tring in Hertfordshire, she was looking for someone to fix up the old cameras that PhotoAid receives as donations. Mutual friends recommended she contact Workaid, based in neighbouring Chesham. One brainstorming meeting later with Rob Levine, chairman of Workaid, a partnership was forged.

It’s great to form partnerships with organisations we have real synergies with and PhotoAid is definitely one of those.” Said Rob Levine. “At Workaid we are updating our website and social media presence; arresting and exciting photos are a critical part of that. When we connected with Vanessa it was clear that she had just the sort of skills and connections to help us down that path. Brilliantly, she is also building our own capabilities so that we are enabled to take better photos ourselves and can take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise. Ultimately all this will help us to attract more donors and volunteers, and give more meaningful and engaging feedback to those we already have.

I am so pleased to be partnering and supporting Workaid, their ethics and energy match ours,” said Vanessa. “We are running training workshops with their staff so they can take their own photos for website and social media collateral, plus running a ‘Volunteer’s Voice’, ‘If Tools could talk’, and hopefully helping to document the projects they are doing actually on the ground in Africa. Also Workaid are kindly storing the cameras people donate to us in their warehouse and helping to ship them to Africa for us. Note, that we also distribute our recycled cameras here in the UK and Europe.

One of PhotoAid’s main photographers is David Newton, known to many in the photography world. David teaches extensively for Canon and also presents for SanDisk, Manfrotto and Lastolite, giving presentations and workshops all over the world. He, along with Ness, is running the first workshop at Workaid.
In my work I spend a lot of time ‘taking’ pictures. The whole language around photography is in taking or capturing something, but there is very little giving.  PhotoAid, and the partnership with Workaid, offers me the opportunity to give something back instead.”

PhotoAid is heading out to India in April for the charity, Born to be Beautiful. Later in the year we are also curating an exhibition of photography in the UK from the children of Ana by Karma, a charity based in Bhutan.

If you have old cameras, would like to be part of PhotoAid as a photographer, supporter or other capacity, or can donate time to fix up old cameras do get in touch with Vanessa at PhotoAid makeadifference@photoaid.org.uk  “We all have something to give, and it’s like kick-starting positive karma, you give a little and buckets of goodness come back to you in return. Thanks to everyone in the industry who is supporting us, it means a lot.”

PhotoAid – Making a difference, one image at a time.

PhotoAid Partners with Workaid. Photo credit Angus Thomson.

PhotoAid Partners with Workaid. Photo credit Angus Thomson.

Some background on PhotoAid and Workaid:

PhotoAid  Our Mission – PhotoAid Global celebrates photojournalism which inspires understanding and action through visual documentary. Covering human and animal rights & environmental awareness.

PhotoAid Services: Photography and Video, Expertise, Opportunities (see more below)

www.photoaid.org.uk     make@difference@photoaid.org.uk

Workaid, winner of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, tackles poverty by providing disadvantaged people with the tools they need to learn a skilled trade and earn a living. Since 1986, WORKAID has helped around 100,000 disadvantaged people to break the cycle of poverty and build better lives for themselves and their families. They accept donations of unwanted tools and equipment which are collected from all over the UK and refurbished by a team of dedicated volunteers at the Workaid workshop. The refurbished tools are then sent to vocational training projects where they help vulnerable and disadvantaged people to learn trade skills and start their own businesses.

 www.workaid.org

  1. Photography and Video

We source professional photographers in different parts of the world to document your charity’s story. We have been generously supported by Fujifilm UK, Loxley, Genesis Imaging, and others.

  1. Expertise

PhotoAid provides full service support from booking a photographer right through to the design of a book, organizing an exhibition or creating an event.

We also run educational programmes here in the UK and on location, with photographers and local people, from the youngest child to the oldest grandmother!

Talks – invite us to speak to your club or group. We give advice on how to monetise your photography when you return, raise awareness of your cause, and tell inspirational stories, of which there are many from standing in a deafening silence while surrounded by 200 Ankoli cattle in the heart of Africa to covert photography in a third-world prison  …

We know and work with highly trained and motivated photographers, all of whom have stories to tell. If you are interested in hosting a talk or lecture do get in touch. Read some fascinating stories on F8, the editorial and news publishing arm of PhotoAid.

One of our board of advisors is an expert on central and eastern Africa and can give valuable advice on the region, and who can also visit your company/ organisation to advise in more detail. We also have an expert on security in the Middle East and other conflict zones.  Confidentiality assured.

  1. Opportunities

PhotoAid Global helps broker photography with NGOs  doing good in remote places around the world. Offering unique life-changing experiences for the photographer and financial and awareness life-lines to these smaller charities who are working at grassroots level. A perfect symbiosis to pull all the threads together. On a global scale.

We also support local charities from Rotary to Youth football associations, amateur groups desperately needing promotional images through to helping give opportunities to up-and-coming photographers.

Our Founder, Dr Vanessa Champion, is a former London newspaper Editor, published writer, international art and photography judge, and documentary photographer. She is also Director of Dragonfly Communications, based in the UK and Direcotr of ARGENTA Fine Art. She will be your point of contact for marketing support and advice.

Connect on Social media:

Twitter @PhotoAidGlobal

Instagram @photoaid

Facebook PhotoaidGlobal

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URGENT APPEAL Children of Kitenge Africa – can you help?

Our director, Vanessa Champion, is a trustee of Kitenge Africa, and has just been sent this desperate request to help buy some much needed bedding for the children in Uganda.

At the moment they are sleeping on the floor, many to a room. It is a far better already than where they were before, having lived on the streets and slums in Kampala.

Now they are safe and are growing, they have regular health checks and education, they work as a team and slowly, their lives are being transformed thanks to dedicated work and voluntary free time given by professional people in Kampala who travel to support and mentor the children, often having to work longer hours to make up the time.

A clean bed at night, which is OFF THE FLOOR and has new clean mattresses will dramatically improve their lives overnight, literally. If you have a few dollars or pounds, please if you can, make a small donation, or indeed if you are able to buy a bed outright for the children they will name the bed after you!!

US$200 is UK £120 – you can use the link below or if you prefer to do it through us please let us know, drop us an email.

www.kitengeafrica.org/donate  Please share if you can, many many thanks for your help.

Urgent Appeal Kitenge Africa Foundation bed request for the street and slum children from Kampala, Uganda.

Urgent Appeal Kitenge Africa Foundation bed request for the street and slum children from Kampala, Uganda.

NEWS POST 11 – Uganda and the Kitenge Foundation

written by Vanessa Champion

Street kids Kampala, Uganda

Street kids Kampala, Uganda

 

Kitenge school

Kitenge Foundation, School, Kampala. Photo copyright Justus

Our Director was recently humbled to be asked by the Kitenge Africa Foundation to become a trustee of their fervent and sincere charity rescuing street children in Kampala, Uganda. It was set up by Koojo Justus Kojax, a dynamic entrepreneur, former model  with a passion to bring hope and love into these unsettled children’s lives. Helping giving them back their childhood while educating them and equipping them with husbandry and vocational skills which will help give them confidence and independence to get jobs with the aim to meet the world head on as equals.

Vanessa Champion, Director of Dragonfly Communications, went to Uganda for the first time in November 2012 and was so surprised by the warmth, love and positive activity that is happening in this former war-torn and troubled country. Through business investment, the church and many many generous hours of people’s time, there is a change happening. And it is happening fast. Philanthropy, investment and determination is rebuilding hope, sustainable business and healing shattered lives.

Left to right, Kevin Ramussen from Denmark who is helping build the school with Koojo Justus Kojax, Founder of the remarkable Kitenge Foundation, bring hope, education and safety to children from the streets in Uganda.

Left to right, Kevin Ramussen from Denmark who is helping build the school with Koojo Justus Kojax, Founder of the remarkable Kitenge Foundation, bring hope, education and safety to children from the streets in Uganda.

While out there she was introduced through London-based  HABA, to Justus, an extraordinarily self-motivated and honest businessman. We interviewed Justus to see how we and maybe you could help further. His interview is below.  But before we get there, what is it they say? “Many hands make light work”? Even a little from many can be worth more than much from one. The children write to many of their supporters here in the UK and America, writing to school children of their own age, to mentors, to teachers, to friends. It gives them hope and they love to hear from you too. Maybe email them? Or donate or send a little something?

THE INTERVIEW

Justus standing with the children he has rescued from the streets in Kampala. Happier, healthier and safer.

Justus standing with the children he has rescued from the streets in Kampala. Happier, healthier and safer.

Tell us about the Kitenge Africa Project. Kitenge Africa Foundation (KAF) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization; based in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.  Kitenge Africa Foundation was started with the aim of assisting the vulnerable and disadvantaged, primarily children, who were orphaned, homeless, and those children with special needs. The purpose is to establish compassion to transform these forsaken lives

What compelled you to start the project. I was humbled by the plight the street children lived on a daily basis, as well as the rejection and discrimination they receive from the people. Many judge these children unfairly and consider them nothing but cheats.

Being given a fresh start, a new chance, education, food and safety, transforms lives

Being given a fresh start, a new chance, education, food and safety, transforms lives

It was in October 2008, I was 19 years old when I first got the opportunity to identify with street children, and I was amazed by the respect and discipline they kept before me however crushed by the plight and struggle they had to endure each new day. This compelled me to set aside days, mostly afternoons at weekends, where I took them out for a lunch or dinner just to chat and spend time together. The bond grew stronger and that is when I started to provide their clothing, shoes and helped to give them the chance to wash, bath and have a haircut.

This later became a routine where they came to a public playground every Sunday evening between 3pm-5pm for a nourishing meal, minor medical attention, clothes donations, opportunity to bath, sports and games, a counselling session and relational talk which lead to us starting our Street Outreach program which we still do even today.

However, it was until September 2010 that one of them was stabbed to death late in the night by a thug only to be robbed of his little radio that he was holding by his ear having mistaken for a mobile phone that I felt much more had to be done in the lines of shelter and rehabilitation. This was a wakeup call for me to step out of my comfort zone and take action with regards to the housing

That is an amazing story, Justus, to be so giving with your own time, and so honest in your compassion. What is your own background?

I have been very ambitious all through my life as I have lived a life where my dreams, responsibilities, personality depict an older self than I by age.

In my high school vacation, I was only 18 years old when I started a clothing business where I traded ladies and gents wear. This left me with good exposure to business operations, the attitude to save and good management skills as well as quick decision making and independence.

Not a year later, I also started a small electronics store where I was dealing with refurbished gadgets like laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras, music players and accessories. This left me with so many financial management skills, customer care, marketing and public relations experience.

At the same time, I was a city model under Arapapa, one of the biggest agencies in Uganda at the time.

However, I later connected with the street children where I was completely devoted and there was no time to run my personal business. I was also very touched by the disadvantaged life they lived and this compelled me to sell off all my business and belongings in goodwill to be able to start this charity organisation. I am founder of KAF. [why not “like” their Facebook page? ed.]

In 2010, I got into the tourism industry having realized that many of the volunteers that come down to work with the children desired traveling and touring around at the end of the day and likewise, tourists that have only come to admire beautiful Africa also have big hearts for charity. So I am Assistant Director, to 1000 Shades of Green Tour and Travel-Tourism www.gogreensafari.com.

As a businessman here in Uganda, I am respected and I am the country representative to Horn of Africa Business Association-United Kingdom www.ha-ba.com

You face many challenges, but what are the most pressing ones? 

Education is freedom

Education is freedom

  • Feeding is key as the children must eat on a daily.
  • Jiggers in the class rooms, the floors and some structures are broken and since all children do not have shoes on, the parasites enter their bodies mostly through their feet. So there is need to mend the floor. [can anyone help with this? ed.]
  • Bedding material, in desperate need of mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, beds [is anyone linked to a manufacturer? ed.]
  • Teachers, more qualified teachers are needed on ground; a school of 783 children has 10 teachers that is a challenge.
  • More buildings. We need more structures and more room [anyone a builder who can lend your skills? ed.]
  • Funds, realistically, much of resources is required to be able to run this project normally and to procure whatever the children deserve. [you can sponsor a child, which is a massive help to the charity as it means regular income they can budget with. ed.]
Helping as many children as they can, Kitenge are giving hope, light and love to many street kids in Kampala.

Helping as many children as they can, Kitenge are giving hope, light and love to many street kids in Kampala.

  • Transportation. This is also a major challenge faced apparently; the need to move around flexibly mobilizing resources and stuff for the children, transporting the children to different places and zones, transporting food and volunteers is a challenge. Public means is more tiring and more expensive. [anyone got any trucks, or work with a gas company in Africa who can help support them? ed.]
  • No power source. [anyone working in renewable / solar energy??? ed.]

What is your dream for the school and the children?  We have already procured the land where we want to seat our education facility. A better school to benefit the entire community with a provision of accommodation for the children and volunteers, study classrooms, laboratory and library. There will also be technical and vocational training skills facility that will ensure every child has a life skill they acquire besides education.

Volunteer with Kitenge Foundation, School, Kampala. Photo copyright Justus

Volunteer with Kitenge Foundation, School, Kampala. Photo copyright Justus

Do you have a need for teachers and volunteers? We are in great need for teachers, counselors, medical personnel, sports facilitators, photographers/media personnel, constructors, artists, (all professions can be sure to find a place they can volunteer and will feel much satisfaction of their time and effort).

Vanessa is heading out to Kampala later in the year to teach photography, a bit of drama, English. With the generosity of FujiFilmUK is taking some single use cameras with her, so that she can work with the children and the Kitenge Foundation to teach the children how to document their environment. We can support them with an exhibition back here in the UK and maybe take it to America through the other trustees and partners and into Europe. A book, of course would be fabulous, and an online downloadable book that the children can share and use as collateral when they go for jobs as well. [if you want to get involved, email Ness. ed.]

If you want to volunteer, Kitenge can help organise Accommodation for you, to stay as close to the children as you wish:

Staying full time at the school. This option gives you all the time you need with the children and community in the village. Meals and accommodation is at the school with the children. This means that you can volunteer in your area of profession conveniently.

Working with Kitenge is one of the most rewarding experiences you'll have in your life. Short term and long term opportunities. For your next holiday, why not head out and teach, make a difference for a fortnight. You'll return changed!!! And you will know that you have helped transform lives.

Working with Kitenge is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have in your life. Short term and long term opportunities. For your next holiday, why not head out and teach, make a difference for a fortnight. You’ll return changed!!! And you will know that you have helped transform lives.

Staying within the village Hostels: This accommodation arrangement is also very convenient and reliable as the hostels are about 2 kilometers from the school and still within the village. Transportation is by a motorbike back and forth the school and meals may be had both at the school and the hostels. The rooms are self contained and in a very good and secure farm environment hence good privacy. There is a solar power here so gadgets such as laptops, internet, and mobile phones can be used conveniently.

Staying with in Mpigi Town at the hotel: Accommodation is secured at beautiful and cheap hotel with in the Municipality of Mpigi district. The hotel is up on the hill with a beautiful view of the district of Mpigi. With this arrangement, volunteers need to commute to the school every day by a motorbike or vehicle. The school is about 8Kilometers from the hotel. The hotel has hydro power hence giving provision to use gadgets, internet and mobile phones also with very nice and private self contained rooms.

You can help Kitenge, by sending in gifts for the children, helping sponsor a child, getting your school to write to the children, fund raising, going out there to teach or help build the schools. Or just emailing or messaging them and sending love and support to the Foundation and maybe a special message to the kids, they would SO love that (you can even buy a chicken for or a pig!).

Thanks for reading the interview with the Founder of this amazing charity, Kitenge. We all make a difference every day to the world we are in, showing compassion and love to those around us are two of the greatest gifts anyone can give another human being. Listen to your heart and value everything your life touches. If you can help Kitenge, your word, gift or action will help continue to bring light to their darkness.

Rescued from the street in Kampala, given a new positive start in life, she too, will survive, learn, keep well and be able to help give back and educate when her time comes too.

Rescued from the street in Kampala, given a new positive start in life, she too, will survive, learn, keep well and be able to help give back and educate when her time comes too.