August 19th marks World Photography Day, a time to celebrate the creativity, artistry, and history of photography. While photography dates back to 1839, the day was first held on August 19, 2010, when over 270 photographers from around the world shared images on a digital gallery, and over 100 countries participated in the inaugural event.
The day encourages people to share a photo that details their life in that moment, expressing all forms of creativity and individuality. Photos can range from telling a personal story, sending a political message, teaching the viewer something new, exploring wildlife, or capturing a significant moment in time..
Children Behind the Camera: Charities Supporting World Photography Day
There are some incredible charities out there that are taking World Photography Day one step further. They are using photography as a force for empowerment and support, particularly for disadvantaged young people from around the world. Here are four charities who are taking action in unique ways:
100 Cameras is a non-profit organization that works with children to help process and tell their personal stories through photography. Oftentimes these children come from challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds, and this process enables them to see how they can positively impact their communities and take on roles within society. They believe that all children deserve the right to process their experiences in a healthy way to create space for emotional freedom in the future.
The organization provides a platform for all children from 10-18—no matter their background, location, or circumstances—to sell their photographs, and it gives them 100% of the proceeds to help their direct communities. They truly believe that kids will change the world. Learn more or donate to 100 Cameras here.
Through the Eyes of Children – Camera Kids
Founded in 2000, Through the Eyes of Children is a non-profit organization that started as a result of the Rwandan Genocide and now teaches photography to vulnerable children to help them express their perspective. The workshops are designed not only to expand children’s vision and knowledge but to offer them a platform to share their voice.
The first group that went through the program were called the “Camera Kids.” Ranging in age from 8-18, this group of 19 children lived at the Imbabazi Orphanage in Rwanda where the program sought to help them process their experiences and depict how the country was rebuilding. Today, a number of these original “Camera Kids” live and work in Rwanda, some even as photographers, and they pay forward the gift of photography that was given to them. Learn more about Through the Eyes of Children and the “Camera Kids” or donate here.
The Positive View’s innovative Youth Empowerment Programme uses photography and film to support underprivileged 16-25 year olds living in the most challenging parts of the UK. By consulting, understanding, and working with these young individuals, the program aims to lead vulnerable adults into a community focused on education, training, and employment – and away from violence, crime, and drugs.
Created in 1994 by Andrew Page, the Positive View Foundation was a personal philanthropic initiative to initially help support Chickenshed Theatre in North London. It gained worldwide attention through the organizing of photography exhibits featuring some of the world’s most respected photographers. Funded by Princess Diana of Wales and later by her son Prince William, the photography project shifted to support Crisis (the UK’s leading charity for the homeless), the Foyer Foundation, and Fairbridge—an organization that supports disadvantaged youth. Learn more or donate to the Positive View Foundation here.
The Photography Foundation
The Photography Foundation believes that talent and motivation should be more important than who you know or where you come from – so they turned this belief into a reality. They create opportunities for less advantaged and under-represented young adults in London and empower them to launch a career in creative industries, particularly in photography.
Their main work focuses on the twice-yearly training program for all eligible young adults, as well as working alongside other charities, outreach programs, third sector organizations who also work with young people. They also offer career advice and open days to support everyone in their community. Learn more or donate to the Photography Foundation here.
Want to get involved in World Photography Day? Post your image on social media using #WorldPhotographyDay, send a photo to worldphotographyday.com, or join the Facebook event here.