MKMMA Week 14A – And Now A word From Our Sponsors

Here’s another example of the Hero’s Journey story written about in the  previous post.

A young photographer working for Reuters is assigned to cover the civil war in Guatemala in the 1980’s. She becomes deeply attached to the Guatemalan people and following the war is assigned to photograph an assignment on the many families literally living and foraging for their subsistence in the garbage dumps of Guatemala City.

While photographing the young children living in these atrocious conditions, the thought occurs to her: “what if I give the camera to the kids and see their lives from their point of view?”

Thus was born some 21 years ago the “Out of The Dumps” project, striving to help lift these young people from their seemingly hopeless existence, to develop a sense of meaning and belief in themselves and in their future.

Now, over twenty one years later, the project which became Fotokids is a world-renowned program developing the creative drive and thinking in the disadvantaged youth of Guatemala.

I met that photographer, Nancy McGirr and Fotokids about four and a half years ago when a “coincidental” encounter put me in contact with Jeff Speigner, a graphic designer who had met Nancy a year earlier and had just developed the fledgling Design4Kids project. The story of that “coincidence” is a whole post in itself, and a monumental example of the Law of Attraction in action.

Design4Kids is a group of graphic designers, photographers and professionals from various areas of experience who have come together to help teach business-based skills to the Fotokids students, furthering their quest to create a positive, meaningful life for themselves and their loved ones. The for-profit design firm, Jakaramba, is now well into its third year, a result in great degree of the Design4Kids program.

Design4Kids Workshop, Santiago de Atitlan, Guatemala June 2009

This week ahead I’ll be in Guatemala to teach what will be the first of a departure from our usually graphic design and photography related, client oriented workshop projects. I’ll be the sole mentor working with Nancy and Linda Morales teaching advanced photography skills and portfolio development to a group of some of the more advanced Fotokids students in Santiago Atitlan. Linda, by the way is a former Fotokids student and is now one of the program’s chief instructors. She’s a highly accomplished artist and educator.

Now most people, when they hear about something like this, they get a bit curious, maybe excited, maybe even a little teary-eyed like I still do. But frankly, a few don’t. You probably know the type – they’d rather sit down in their little hole in the world, thinking that small gestures can’t have big impacts, saying that whatever is happening with some kids they don’t know in some out of the way place they know nothing about has no significance to their hopeless little lives.

So would it be okay if a share a few links with you?

I’ll be posting daily updates on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/design4kids so go ahead and “like” our page to receive updates on the workshop and what the kids are doing. You can check out some of our previous workshops there too. You can also see more info on Design4Kids at www.design4kids.org.

And you definitely want to see the whole Fotokids story at www.fotokids.org.

Be sure to like our page, www.facebook.com/design4kids, and tell the people you know all about it too.

Hasta pronto.

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4 Responses to “MKMMA Week 14A – And Now A word From Our Sponsors”

  1. Susan Levinson Says:

    Stu.
    I am touched and moved by design4kids and fotokids. I am inspired by your generosity with your time, talent and heart.

    I “liked” the page and will Marafiki, the fair trade store in Metuchen about the photos, jewelry and cards. They might be interested in having some of them in their store.

    Looking forward to your posts.

  2. Karen Krill Says:

    What an amazing project. You are to be congratulated on your work with these groups. I’ll be sure to follow the progress.

  3. Karen Krill Says:

    Have you commented on all of our groups post. I can’t tell. Thanks.

  4. Michelle Mangrum Says:

    You gotta make me cry don’t ya? Wow! What an incredible project! Thanks for sharing!

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