In late June 2015 I was asked to head to a remote village in South Africa called Vingerkraal to document the work of a nonprofit named Project Hope Africa. They have connections in the village all year round and just have a heart for this community. When I was there, they were hosting a "Winter School" for a few days while the kids weren't in school. We took over the classrooms and taught everything from math to music. As one of the electives, I wanted to share my love of photography with these kids and I really wanted to find a way to put cameras in their hands. Before I left, I looked through my gear and found an old point and shoot camera I don't really use anymore. Starting with that, I simply asked on Facebook if anyone else had some of those laying around unused. Within a week or so I had over ten cameras in my mailbox from very generous friends that wanted to pitch in and have their old unused electronics go to something with meaning.
I can't express how neat it was to see these kids actually have cameras in their hands. They picked up incredibly fast on how to use it. Not only do I think the breakthrough was to let these kids use cameras, but many of them had only seen travelers in their village have this technology. One kid told me that he didn't know anyone in his village that and had been trusted enough to put this sort of technology in their hands until now. Their faces lit up when I handed them a camera and they had so much exploring though a new lens. I had no idea how much empowerment could come from a little point and shoot camera. Here are some of the photos they took (and I apologize in advance for all the photos of me).