FLAGSHIP PROJECT 004: MADURAI
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In 2012, 100cameras partnered with The Russ Foundation, an organization that brings vital changes to the Madurai District in southern India through a children’s home, community health services, and AIDS prevention and care. Through the sales of our students' images, we support Russ's work by helping to provide medicine for over 700 children in addition to access to mobile medical care for over 2,500 community members through the services provided by their Community Health and HIV Care and Support Programs.
India, an ancient culture with a beautifully rich heritage, is also home to one third of the world’s poor. In the Madurai District, it is extreme poverty and lack of employment opportunities that have led to an increase of women and children that have been entered into the sex industry. Russ recognizes the correlation of major issues in their community such as poverty, access to health care, AIDS prevention, and education, and they work tirelessly to provide a holistic range of programs. Specifically, the children’s home offers refuge and care to many children that have been rescued from the sex industry or have lost parents to HIV. Believing wholeheartedly in empowering the future generation to lead the remedy, Russ gives kids the opportunity to pursue higher education or vocational training.
The Russ Children’s Home is a nurturing environment filled with animals and gardens, and the staff and kids care for each other like family. They celebrate often by performing talent shows and are always learning the latest Tamil dance or Bollywood song together. While they may only have electricity for a few hours a day, along with no hot water or beds that have mattresses, their daily life is embraced with much joy.
As we can see through their photo narratives, our students find a great sense of stillness when interacting with nature and animals in their daily lives. During the storytelling portions of our curriculum, students tended to only focus on their past by narrowing in on what they had overcome as a guide to help them identify who they are now and where they want to go in the future. At such a young age and after surviving so much, they had already tapped into the power of finding inner peace in current circumstances and hope in moving forward.
100% of proceeds fund medicine for 700 children and access to mobile medical care for 2500 community members through the services provided by the Russ Foundation’s Community Health and HIV Care and Support Programs, and 50% funds ongoing project implementation providing kids with the tools they need to share their perspectives and create change.
To date, the sales from the students' photography have raised over $4,000 and funded the purchase of vital medicine for the kids living at Russ Children's Home and for the community members through the services of Russ's Community Healthcare Clinic.