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12 January 2024 - Humanitarian Programs

Social Impact Photography: Results from our recent humanitarian photography workshop in Zambia

Have you ever wondered about the ways in which photography can go beyond artistic expression to capture the essence of humanitarian issues? Pictures can convey meaning and emotion that transcends far beyond the limitations of language, and therefore have an important role in the narration of social issues – especially if these issues are on the other side of the world. That’s why we document the work of nonprofit organizations that are doing important humanitarian work in African communities. And we invite passionate photographers to volunteer their time and come and join us. Recently, we ran our nonprofit photography workshop in Livingstone, Zambia for the second time, with some rewarding results.

Our Impact Photography Program

At Penda, we recognize the potential for powerful storytelling through photography and want to provide a unique journey for photographers who want to do good. That’s why we run workshops that allow photographers to use their skills and passion by blending the adventures of travel with our mission to make a positive impact. Our Impact Photography Program offers the opportunity to learn about humanitarian photography, broaden your portfolio, and immerse yourself in the culture of NGOs.

Through a carefully curated program in partnership with nonprofit organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa, we offer a photography volunteer program that actively benefits these organizations. Our teams of photographers document these field-based projects, and together, we create a database of strong images that our beneficiary NGOs can use to raise funds and awareness. Our recent program in Livingstone, Zambia was a success, where multiple photographer volunteers from all over the globe came together to document the important work of grassroots Zambian initiatives. Here are some examples.

Zambezi Working Donkey Project

volunteers with donkeys

Zambezi Working Donkey Project (ZADP) aims to improve the well-being of working donkeys and other equines, that are often mistreated by their handlers, with medical care, rehabilitation, kindness, and to help foster a better connection with humans.

Grassroots organizations like ZADP often face financial constraints, which prevent them from investing in photography. “Especially for such a small NGO like the Zambezi Working Donkey Project, we don’t normally have the funds or time to create professional images,” explained a representative from ZADP.

“Besides one long-term funder, all our funds come in from different fundraising initiatives,” he continued. “Because of this, the impact of high-quality images is profound for organizations like tour, as it enables us to communicate our mission and tell our story visually. To give an example; the volunteer photographers recently took profile pictures of the donkeys for our Adopt a Donkey program and since then we have already received various new sponsors.”

Waves for Change Feedback

local children getting ready to surf

Waves for Change is a non-profit organisation that strives to improve the mental health and well-being of the youth of South Africa. Through surfing, they wish to build a supportive community for children that offers stress relief and positive reinforcement to help pave the way for a better future.

Our nonprofit photography program has partnered with Waves for Change for two years, with volunteers continuously joining our mission to foster a supportive community with the organization. Waves for Change captures the essence of our program, expressing “The journey with Anna’s team of photographers over the past two years has been a phenomenal experience for me, not only because we receive breathtaking images for the organisation. More importantly, we have people visiting our programs who intentionally care about the work and who want to tell the stories of our participants through their lenses.” Our program initiative goes beyond delivering professional images; it aims to cultivate a deep passion in our volunteers for the work they are documenting and the communities they are serving. We strive to empower photographers to become the narrators for these organizations that rely on their stories to be delivered, and the best way is for our volunteers to have a genuine connection with the cause of the organizations we work with.

Freehaven Community Initiative

local children showing their artwork

Freehaven Community Initiative is committed to empowering families in Zambia by dismantling the barriers of poverty through education and health care, and promotes a community that is equal and inclusive of all genders.

Our Impact Photography Program has worked closely with the Freehaven Community Initiative to showcase their efforts in the Zambian community. Through this program, we redefine photography as more than about capturing moments, extending to create a tangible impact. The photography we provide has helped the organization to transform its online presence, which amplifies its image in a positive light. In describing our program, the Freehaven Community Initiative notes, “Thanks to your professional photos, we are able to post consistent great quality content on our social media platforms that positively reflect the work we do and impact we make, thus enhancing our overall image and increasing the chances of us finding more potential future donors.”

At Penda, our Impact Photography Program mission is to help photographers bridge the gap between organizations and their supporters. Documenting the hard work of the organizations connects the generosity of the supporters to the lives that are being positively impacted. By forming a meaningful connection, photographers can broaden their horizons and harness their photography to make positive change.

Join our Impact photography program and learn to empower through your photography while experiencing the excitement of immersing yourself in a new culture.

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