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Cambodian Photo Project Needs Your Help

Cameras — Check
Flash Cards — Check
Lesson Plans — Check
Airline tickets — Check
Funding — Uh…

We’re leaving in a week but still need your support for The Cambodian Photography Project. See the website www.thecambodianphotographyproject.com or read about it on Facebook.

All donations are fully tax deductible.


by PJ Heller at 2013-05-12 00:10:48 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

What is it about deluded photographers and these stupid projects?

“The project is dedicated to promoting self-worth and creativity, giving disadvantaged and orphaned children an opportunity to tell their stories through digital photography providing them with valuable skills for the future.”

Promoting self worth of orphans…" through photography??? “valuable skills for the future”? Are you frikin serious?

If you want to provide them with valuable skills, teach them numeracy, literacy skills, language skills, practical life skills, assist in their education of things that can REALLY make a difference to their lives. NOT waste their time handling a bloody camera and believing your setting them up for a bright future!

Get a grip! These children do not need ‘photo project’ kind of help.

by Jason Tanner | 21 May 2013 17:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Cambodian orphanages… yet another way to exploit children? Read through and make your own judgement: http://www.vice.com/read/cambodian-orphanages

“…Cambodia now boasts more than 500 orphanages—a figure that has doubled in the last decade, presumably because the large donations they receive are a much easier way to make money than actually working. Sadly, that nifty little ruse seems to have become public knowledge, and the exploitation of Cambodia’s orphans has turned into a booming, multimillion dollar industry.”
“In fact, according to a 2011 UNICEF study, an estimated three out four children in Cambodia’s orphanages still have one living parent. That clearly seems to be dodging the definition of “orphan” a little, but those in charge couldn’t care less about stuff like definitions or, say, morality, because the more children in their care, the more donations they receive to pillage for their own ends. A well-intended scheme that has now become a loophole for the corrupt, with some orphanages even offering small sums of money to parents in exchange for their children."

I have seen projects like this in China also, unfortunately more geared to fulfill the organizer’s ego or keep volunteers “busy”, than to make a tangible difference. Pictures of smiley or crying children always touch (naive) donor’s hearts… but how much of this gets back to the needy child?

Let’s build a school, teach a class, plant a garden, raise funds towards a sustaining solve of children exploitation, etc… so many more ideas I would get behind.

by Patrick Firouzian | 22 May 2013 05:05 (ed. May 23 2013) | shanghai, China | | Report spam→
Gee, such crude cynicism and downright arrogance. I’m surprised that a member of Lightstalkers feels free to ridicule the work of another member and diminish his or her work – calling it “stupid,” “deluded.”

by Dr Chris Westinghouse | 22 May 2013 09:05 | SYD, Australia | | Report spam→
Yeah, learning photography has done wonders for my self esteem and has provided me with valuable skills for the future. (All I need is a time machine.) Ha! No offense, PJ, but I’ve spent some time in Cambodia, and I’d rather hand my money to MAG or another UXO group. Kids find it easier to build self esteem if they have all of their limbs and have the prospect of a decent economy. And Patrick, you’re right, some Khmer people do give their kids up to orphanages, and some of those places are run by people who are less than moral paragons. But don’t think only of the oily bastards who exploit the situation. Consider the parent who gives up his child because he is too poor to feed his family. There’s a terrible tragic story there. This was a hugely productive country once upon a time.

I wish there was more of a market for stories about this stuff. But maybe I’m just too burnt, lazy or old to find it. Actually, reading this makes me want to get off of my ass and do something. But till I do, you guys should take a look at the work of guys like John Vink, who’s been working in Cambodia for years. I think work like that will do more for Cambodia than showing orphans how to become photojournalists.

Now if you’ll excuse me, time to get back to my whiskey.

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 23 May 2013 04:05 | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
I don’t even know where to begin to respond to the rants about The Cambodian Photography Project.

Perhaps those of you who think it’s “stupid” and “deluded” should go to the Sunrise Children’s Village website (start here: http://tinyurl.com/nwckuhq and see the kind of work being done there to help Cambodian children).

We’re not intending to turn the children into photojournalists . . . but to provide them with a creative outlet and learning experience they might not otherwise have (Should someone who can teach dance and music or anything other creative skill not pass those on to the children??). And who knows, maybe one or more of the youngsters will go on to become a photographer . . . children who have been at SCV have gone on to universities both in Cambodia and abroad.

If you don’t want to support the project, fine. But I’m really surprised – and disappointed – by the comments here.

by PJ Heller | 23 May 2013 11:05 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia | | Report spam→
Hey, I didn’t say it was a bad idea. It has its place among all of the other useful things that need doing. Kids in Cambodia need many things, and learning a creative outlet is certainly one of the things that could help.

But having seen the place, I feel that if I had money to spend to help I’d rather be working with more basic issues like building up the economy, removing explosives from the ground, or helping people to regain aspects of the traditional culture which the Khmer Rouge tried so hard to eradicate.

Anyhow, given the state of the industry, and the difficulties finding work that are a constant theme here on LS, did you really think that this was going to be a good venue to ask for donations? I know you don’t consider this a frivolous project, and I’m glad you’re trying to help, but I also hope you find a way to use your skills and desire to help to bring a larger story to people with the money and power to really help the people of Cambodia, who have suffered terribly, and deserve the attention of the larger world.

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 23 May 2013 12:05 (ed. May 23 2013) | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→

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PJ Heller, Freelance Photojournalist PJ Heller
Freelance Photojournalist
(Freelance Photojournalist)
Christchurch , New Zealand
Jason Tanner, Photographer Jason Tanner
San Jose , Costa Rica
Patrick Firouzian, Research Patrick Firouzian
(Practice judgement)
Shanghai , China ( PVG )
Dr  Chris Westinghouse, Photojournalist Dr Chris Westinghouse
(Generalist For Hire)
Melbourne , Australia
John Louis Lassen Perry, Photoanthropologist John Louis Lassen Perry
Califon, New Jersey , United States


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