Dreaming Big with Cameras, formerly known as the Cameras for Kids project is our personal effort to give a child the opportunity to dream big, live large and laugh loud through photography.
This all begun with a pen. We were on our honeymoon in Africa. Kids ran after our jeep shouting, "Madame pen pen pen!", arms outstretched while enduring dust in their faces as the jeep continued on. We stopped of course. Honestly I thought it may have been a hoax. The children could have asked for food or money, they've asked for a pen instead?! But it was true. All they wanted truly, was simply a pen each. In that trip, I fell in love with the people, the continent and everything about Africa. From that moment, I knew I needed to help but to be honest I didn't know what to do or where to begin.
2 years later, after feeling rather confounded by it all, I decided to go back to Zambia as part of a volunteer program. I realised at that point that it was all about hope, creating hope, maintaining hope, giving children the chance to be children and empower them to believe in themselves.
Dreaming Big with Cameras was born. Bringing between 10 to 20 compact cameras with me, partnering with local NGOs, charities and schools, I ran informal photography workshops for children in need. Why you might ask? Isn't photography the last thing these children need in their lives? Believe me I've asked myself the same question.
Photography introduces an aspect of learning and being able to do something new, which whilst for many of us is a given, for many of the children whom I've met, it is a complete luxury. Dreaming Big with Cameras is a means for them to escape their daily worries of putting food in their bellies, of making the smallest amount of money to help their families... many of the children I have met have been through more than any of us can endure. Most importantly, it is a means of instilling that important sense of pride and confidence in them that will continue to shape them as people. It is a means of enabling them to Dream Big, Live Large and Laugh Loud, the very reasons why this project was born!
I continue to maintain a relationship with some of the NGOs and children today!
That is my objective as a humanitarian photographer and I'm so glad I had a pen in my bag that day.