In 2016, Aisha was a 13 year old living in Ormakau Village in Amboselli, Kenya. If there is one American phrase that describes Aisha, it is “girl power.” She is athletic and loves soccer. She’s not afraid to show her intelligence and cares greatly for her education. She is confident, beautiful, and sweet and is not intimidated by the boys.
In a culture where women are subservient and their primary responsibilities are bearing children and managing the home, she has goals and dreams far beyond this. She shared that she plans to go to university and be a scientist that makes medicine to help people. This is a lofty goal for a girl living in a mud hut in a rural village in Kenya, but there is no doubt she can do whatever she puts her mind to.
When Aisha received her book of curated images, she had a smile from ear to ear. She was able to share her book with her classmates and spent hours looking at the images over and over. To give girls a sense of pride and self worth is an irreplaceable honor. Special thanks to Chatbooks who provided these beautiful keepsakes!
In 2016, Daniel was a 21 year old living in Endopen Village in Amboselli, Kenya. He was educated through an 8th grade level. Although he did not finish school, he hopes to someday return. His mother has 5 children. His father is the chief of the community and has 5 wives. In total, Daniel has over 30 half siblings!
Daniel works as a gardener for the Kenyan Wildlife Service at Amboseli National Park. When asked about his employment, Daniel shared that he is very fortunate to have his job because of what it can do to help others. He explained that when he gets paid, he keeps some money for himself, but never takes more than he needs. Much of his paycheck is used to help his younger siblings get an education, or if a neighbor loses a goat to a predator or falls on hard times, he will help them in any way he can. He loves helping the people in his community and dreams of becoming a lawyer.
When you need to think of good in the world, perhaps think of this boy in a far away place who lives in a hut named Daniel. He may not have much in the way of possessions, but he possesses all the riches that we need in life.
When Daniel received a book of his curated images from the project, he was captivated. He smiled and proudly showed his mother. He proudly declared that this book would be part of his heritage, something that would be passed down from generation to generation.
When someone new comes to his village, he immediately shows off his prized book.
In 2016, Moses was 12 years old and in the 6th grade. One of the remarkable qualities Moses possesses is how he values his schooling. An education is so important to him that he treks 16 kilometers round trip every day in order to have that opportunity. Not only is the daily walk to school long, it can also be dangerous to travel through the African bush. Moses shared that he often sees “Tembo” (swahili for elephant) on his commute; once he even encountered a lioness and her cubs. When this happens, he has to hide and wait. Still, he is committed to his schooling and took to the photography lessons with the same dedication and vigor as his other classes.
Moses received a book of his curated images and his laughter and joy filled the air. He was able to stand in front of his class and share the book, and his classmates cheered for him. His pride and sense of accomplishment radiated. He shared that his mother would be extremely proud of his photos and book.