In 2000, photographer and theater producer David Jiranek created the non-profit Through the Eyes of Children and partnered with the Imbabazi Orphanage in Rwanda to teach photography to 19 children who had been affected by the 1994 genocide that killed an estimated 500,000 – 1 million Tutsi. Armed with disposal film cameras, the “Camera Kids” learned skills that allowed them to document the rebuilding of their country through the volunteer efforts of photographer Kristen Ashburn, publicist Jenifer Howard and brand strategist Joanne McKinney.
18 years later, three of those children – Mussa Uwitonze, Gadi Habumugisha and Jean Bizimana – have become professional photographers, and they have embarked on a project to pay it forward by helping to teach photography to immigrant teens in New Jersey and foster children in Boston.
Through a Kickstarter, the trio is hoping to fund additional workshops around the world for other vulnerable children.
We’re generally skeptical of crowdfunding camera gear and vanity projects, but we like to get behind social change and community building. This project fulfills both criteria and is worth checking out.