Snapshot Project: Chiang Mai
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Spearheaded by Snapshot Leader, Becky Lee, a trio of siblings from New Jersey taught photography classes to students from Schools of Hope in Chiang Mai, Thailand through the 100cameras Snapshot Project beta program.
The mission of Schools of Hope is to provide free education and healthcare to underprivileged children in Thailand, many of whom are displaced from their families. Based in a district outside of Chiang Mai that borders Myanmar, over 60 children ages 7-17 live at the school, making it not just a place for education but also a home in every sense of the word. The kids study subjects like math, English, geography, science, and history in addition to local culture and optional vocational training in farming, mechanics, and environmental studies. Some are also in training to become Buddhist monks.
Becky and her siblings organized the 100cameras Snapshot classes to serve over 60 students, empowering them to learn how to express their perspectives and to lean into the stories of their past, present, and future as they shared their inspirations to become local farmers, teachers, doctors, mechanics, and singers.
100% of proceeds from the students' photo sales will go directly back to their community. Based on the current needs of the organization at the time of receipt, the proceeds raised will either help fund new roofs for the dormitories and/or go toward a two months long summer course that serves 1,500 students in remote villages to learn about their cultural heritage and traditions in addition to mathematics, the Shan language, literature, and community-based skills.
ABOUT THE PROJECT LEADER
Becky Lee led the project in collaboration with her siblings and co-teachers, Charlotte and Henry. When Charlotte first proposed the project to the director of the school, he was so thrilled noting that arts education In Thailand is often only for rich children. Personally, part of the purpose of leading this program was to remind the students (and themselves) that art and personal expression is for all. Having originally only planned for 20 students, it was an unexpected and exciting surprise when three times as many arrived. All three teachers quickly revised a game plan to teach the lesson to such a larger group of students, and found great joy in the experience as they led so many kids on a journey of learning new skills and feeling pride and excitement when sharing their stories.
When we asked the students what they wanted to be when they grow up, I was amazed at how many of them wanted to go back to their hometowns to set up libraries, build schools, and take care of their communities. At the end of the classes, we donated all of the digital cameras to the school and hope the students can continue to use photography to explore their surroundings and express themselves as they work toward reaching their goals. -- Becky Lee
Learn more about their experience and how they revised the experience to serve 60 kids from Becky's perspective in our featured behind the scenes blog post.
STUDENT IMAGE GALLERY
Follow us on social media to see images from the field as captured by Becky and the student photographers.