fingers crossed =)

 img_0251.JPGBig news guys. I'm applying for my first ever photography grant! And I need your universal, Power of Attraction, support! It's called ShootQ Grant, a $10,000 grant given to a photographer to fund a project that raises public awareness about an important social, environmental or economic issue. ShootQ's goal is to provide tools for photographers which free them from the tedious work of running a business.


Their mission with the ShootQ Grant is to empower photographers to invest time to working of projects that raise awareness about important issues. More than a monetary award, this grant will provide photographers the opportunity to work on a meaningful project. 

And I want to win it!

My goal is to use the ShootQ Grant to create and premiere a unique, progressive and POSITIVE photographic documentary about a fairly new and unheard of concept to the majority of us, but that is becoming all the rage in the nonprofit sector dedicated to the rights and welfare of children. It’s called ‘Avoiding Institutional Care’, and it’s ready to break down all previous notions you once had about the solution to helping abandoned children in developing regions such as Africa. In order to do this successfully and within a true model, I will spotlight the work of one particular organization, OrphanAid Africa (OA) - - that is right now putting into practice and establishing a worldwide model for this new concept. I first heard of the concept ‘Avoiding Institutional Care’ from this said organization. Their key policy, in line with UNICEF guidelines, is to avoid institutional care whenever possible. The answer is not to build more orphanages for all these children, rather it is the need to prevent the abandonment of children and to ensure that each child is raised within a nurturing family environment. OrphanAid Africa (OA) believes that by helping parents and communities, they ensure that they can care and provide for their children so that there will be less abandoned or orphaned children in the future. 

What also makes OA stand out is the fact that they are working successfully from WITHIN the African system. OA is currently carrying out the Care Reform Initiative (CRI), which is a multi-sector approach to strengthening the Ghanaian Department of Social Welfare and civil society to implement de-institutionalization and provide access to alternative forms of family-based care for children without appropriate parental care. OA, along with the Government of Ghana, has produced a census, and written the Standards for Children’s Homes. They have also written and revised with stakeholders, including UNICEF, the legislation for opening a home and for foster families. OA has trained 254 Social Workers on deinstitutionalization, and 100 Home Managers. 

And they are only getting started!! Until now, no photo documentary has been made about OA’s current work and I want to seize this opportunity to help bring their avant-garde work to the general public, through the visual means necessary to prove this argument. My main objective is to use their method as a model for similar organizations and governments worldwide. And with ShootQ’s help, I will!

So please please please send out the good and gracious grant vibes for me! And check out this great YouTube video for information!