The main objective of Concern’s capacity building project for Malawi’s sugar workers is to reduce poverty through comprehensive training and development designed to bring improved industry efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. The organisation engaged me to help them develop a brochure that will boost the project’s visibility. I have structured its content around high-impact visuals, with text drawn from interviews with a wide range of stakeholders that documents the project’s methods, its impact on growers, their communities and the sugar industry in general, and the lessons learned over the course of project implementation. CLICK THE IMAGE below to see the 43 images captured for this assignment:
CLICK THE IMAGE to explore the gallery.
Making WASH Work
Concern’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme is one of its oldest in Malawi. Its activities started during the early 1990s, as civil conflicts and political instability in the region brought increasing numbers of migrants to the country, forcing the issue of safe water provision in its refugee camps. As the NGO’s activities evolved and shifted in orientation towards long-term development, its WASH programme took an integrated and participatory approach towards the promotion of safe water supply, hygiene and sanitation, and emphasised capacity building for all stakeholders. The WASH team engaged me in order to improve its visibility to a cross-section of stakeholders, especially donors, WASH executing agencies and the Malawian Government. I was asked for a coffee table style book that would speak largely through its images and document the general WASH scope of work, Concern’s borehole drilling process, good practices and innovations, and the impact it’s achieved. CLICK THE IMAGE below to see the 32 images captured for this assignment:
Elsewhere on this site, you may have come across the video I shot for World Renew in Mozambique last year. In case you haven’t, it’s here. It’s a peppy 2½-minute introduction to the Khoma Family, the Southern Africa representative family for the organisation’s ‘Free a Family‘ programme. I was asked to produce something short and lively that could be shown on big screens to the church groups that support World Renew across Canada and the United States. Apparently, it was a big success, so earlier this year I was asked to go to Kenya to shoot a similar video on the programme’s Eastern Africa representative family, the Onchenges. Today, I’m proud to share the finished product:
The Onchenge family
In 2007, the Onchenge family was displaced from their home when violence swept through the region following a contested election. Their house was burned down and the family fled and lived in a camp for internally displaced persons for a year. Four years ago, they were resettled in Blue-Banita Gichagi village, where they built a small mud home.
Recently, World Renew began working in this region through a new partnership with Nakuru Region Inter-Diocesan Christian Community Services (NRIDCCS). NRIDCCS works with the Onchenge family to help them find sustainable ways to improve their lives.
Many years ago, Mr Onchenge had a road accident and lost one of his legs. Despite this physical disability, he and his family work hard to grow food on their plot of land. NRIDCCS is teaching them how to use new farming techniques and different types of seeds in order to grow and harvest more food throughout the year. It is also encouraging the Onchenge family and their neighbours to raise different types of animals in order to diversify their sources of income.
If you would like to support families like the Onchenges, click here to make a donation.
How storybook-like is this?! I’m currently in Port-au-Prince in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, having just arrived from London via New York. This was the view from my hotel room at dusk this evening. The sky was so beautiful that the view merited a photo, even without the colourful houses. When I saw how the suburb of Jalousie had been painted, I just had to capture the scene and send you a postcard.
The colourful hillside suburb of Jalousie looks down over the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
Unfortunately, I later learned that the slum painting initiative, part of a project to relocate people from the 2010 earthquake displacement camps, has been somewhat controversial. You can read about this here. I also heard that the slum was painted this way to give visiting tourists and businessmen the impression that Haitians live a colourful lifestyle, and not in unserviced, deprived slums. Indeed, this is the view not only from the hotel I was staying at but also from other luxury hotels, such as the Royal Oasis, infamous for being built with post-earthquake loans from leading development organisations. Sigh!
Anyway, let me just add that I’m in Haiti for two assignments, one for the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) and another for SmileTrain. For the IAF, I will be shooting here in Port-au-Prince and also in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien, covering the work of three of the organisation’s grantees. Then I’ll be staying on in Cap-Haïtien, where I’ll be joined by a team of surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses when SmileTrain come to town. Stay tuned for the stories!
Horácio is visually impaired. He is learning how to type Braille thanks to classes provided by the Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Mozambique (ACAMO). During an inspiring three days with Concern Universal in Mozambique, I worked with ACAMO to sell some of its success stories, and also documented the work of an organisation that (among other things) teaches people with disabilities how to make and repair wheelchairs and other disability aids, ensuring that it’s no longer necessary to import such essential items at great expense; and finally that of a volunteer civil society group that was trained in ‘social accountability monitoring’ by Concern, equipping it to monitor public resource management and, in turn, demand better services from local government.
I recently completed an assignment in Malawi for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a development-oriented international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government. They are currently celebrating 50 years of German-Malawian development cooperation, and as part of this they will be hosting a photo exhibition to showcase the work they are doing across a range of sectors.