Phodographer Carolyn Lane in Macassar, South Africa 2009
The outline of famous Table Mountain above Cape Town….visible from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. He emerged able to forgive and build a nation.
A young boy from a township near Cape Town is highlighted today in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 93rd Birthday….we recognize and honor that to truly “see” and acknowledge each other is a simple act of kindness. Photo Diplomacy as practiced through Dog Meets World is a simple act of kindness for the world. A photo says I see you, you matter and we are much alike. It is tangible joy and a seed of peace. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Celebrate “Mandela Day” by showing kindness and compassion to all.
NEW Phodographer Robert Karp in Guguletu, South Africa, April 2011
I’m Robert Karp, I work in Admissions at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and I recently traveled to South Africa where I was born to celebrate my 40th Birthday and other family events in the Cape Town area. Wanting to practice Dog Meets World without a contact in a local township I turned to Google where I found a link to Liziwe’s Guest House and Tours. I emailed the house and immediately got a reply from a guy named Andrew who helps organize the tours through a local township. We emailed back and forth as to the specifics of what it was I was trying to do and accomplish. The more we talked, the more excited I became at the idea of doing something like this.
Andrew picked me up and provided transportation both to the township Guguletu and then to the airport afterwards. Once there, and after some briefs tests of my camera and the printer, we started out on our adventure. We began in the neighborhood creche which is what a preschool would be here in the States. I took and printed around 50 pictures of the children there and the process was incredible. For some of these children, the pictures were the first of them ever and they were enthralled with the process and the camera and printer. Tentative glances turned into true smiles, followed by excited chatter and laughter. I was surrounded by a swarm of amazing little children who were taking this all in.
After the creche, Andrew and another man took me into the shacks where the poorest of the poor lived. The pictures I took of the children and families here were the most meaningful and had the most impact both on myself and on the people whose pictures I took and printed. For one family, it was the first and only family portrait they have ever had.
The rest of the trip was spent walking around and taking and printing pictures until my supplies ran out. Afterwards, Andrew told me it was incredibly moving and fulfilling for him as-well because although he loves doing the tours, no one has given back in such an immediate way. He invited me back for my next trip to do a longer day of taking pictures and meeting new people.
Thank you Dog Meets World. It was the highlight of my trip back home.
Phodographer Samantha Coffin in Kayamandi, South Africa, March 2010
Samantha visited DMW offices in Washington DC yesterday. She told us she still communicates with the students in the township where she volunteered while studying abroad last year. She sends them packages and thinks about them everyday! They tell her how they are going to attend University and someday come visit her in the United States. She loves them. Samantha says:
The children I worked with meant the world to me, however doing Dog Meets World and giving them a photograph of just themselves meant more than the world to them. These photographs started a photo family, a bond so unique and everlasting. Thank you for helping me to make my own Dog Meets World family in South Africa and Zambia too!
Here’s Samantha having fun with Foto and her afterschool students!
Dog Meets World embodies the words spoken yesterday on the birthday of Nelson Mandela by his wife Graca Machel:
Today is an opportunity for millions of people around the world to look inside themselves and find those beautiful qualities as any human being has and say: “I am able to make a difference to my neighbor, to someone underprivileged, I can extend my goodness to other people”
Sharing a mere photo makes a difference, a simple act of kindness. This 28 year old man, John said this was the first photo he had ever had of himself!
I, Carolyn Lane, founder of Dog Meets World was in the Cape Town and on the suggestion of my fellow local assistants took pictures of the kitchen staff at the very lovely Lord Charles Hotel (4 star). This Afrikaans speaking chef was cajoled into to having his picture taken. He removed his hair net and apron and I posed him against the beautiful foliage in the outdoor dining area. When I returned moments later from the lobby with his printed picture, his eyes turned red, tears welled, his wiped his eyes and hugged me warmly…….his first picture in his life.
How often to we exchange pleasantries and seek help from hotel staff? My astonishment at this gentleman, despite his regular job and nice uniform, had never had his own picture. I suggest we take more time to notice and appreciate those that cater to our needs. So all those traveling, attending World Cup events and more, find time to interact and give back. Dog Meets World makes it simple to share a basic photo!
Best Foto of the Week!
Praise for DMW
"Participating in Dog Meets World was a truly magical experience, bringing joy and wonderment to all I met."
John Carr, Phodographer across South America
"Dog Meets World unleashes the power of photography as a diplomatic and personal tool in building connections among the people of the world. It embeds a memory in photographer and subject alike."
Prof. Patrick Fleming, Fulbright scholar & Phodographer Cambodia & Kyrgzystan
"You will never know just how important that photo will be long after it is taken and given."
Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner Jacksonville Jaguars
"Dog Meets World went over fabulously in my village. It is a perfect option for Peace Corps volunteers like myself. I like the Foto dog mascot, kids like it, and it is a representation of the peace and the ideas of the project."
Kristen Woodruff, Phodographer Costa Rica
"The kids are absolutely loving Dog Meets World. For a majority, these were the first images of themselves that they have ever owned."
Marti Johnson, Phodographer Uganda