One of the easiest entree to a Dog Meets World experience is to email or ask at your hotel. Hotel staff are familiar with local guides and locales/schools/orphanages where kids are bereft of personal photos. The staff at Emerson Spice Hotel introduced us to Simai Mkadam. In his respectful manner he made arrangements for a visit to an orphanage outside the tourist-laden Stone Town. Prior to our arrival he sought interest and permission for us to come and photo the children. Simai is a remarkable young man as his KV Tours also runs KV Academy, an afterschool program to teach underprivileged kids computer skills and English. In Simai’s words he explained the technique to make them (the students) happy with their own photo. The children ranged from age 3 to 15. Teaching the little ones to sing and sign the Itzy Bitzy Spider was a joy. Please take note of the dearth of teaching materials in the classroom.
Setting up the individual photos with the young Masai
Showing the printer with Emmanuel, Herman Kiriama (our driver) and Carolyn
PhoDOGraphers Carolyn Lane and Emmanuel Munisi while on Safari in Northern Tanzania June 2012
While on an incredible safari with G-Adventures and with the consent of our fellow travelers we added photo diplomacy to our trip. The first time we practiced Dog Meets World was impromptu stopping along the roadside with young men having recently gone through the Masai ritual of Emuratta (circumcision) and were wearing the required special black clothing for 3 months or so after their ceremony. Emmanuel explained the idea of the photo sharing project and that we would like to take their pictures and then immediately make copies to keep. While understandably skeptical they agreed. They were curious about little Foto, the mascot, but liked holding the dog prop. Wide eyes and much excited chatter while the pictures were printed in front of them (less than a minute per photo). With smiles of amazement and pride we shared their photos. Not only were these the first photos they have possessed, but the brilliant 4×6 photos will document a very important period in their lives.
Can you imagine not capturing the special times in your life with photography?
PhoDOGrapher and DMW Founder Carolyn Lane and Mark Schwartz in Ngurdoto Village near Arusha, Tanzania 2012
It so simple to add Dog Meets World to one’s travels. I contacted the lodge ahead of time, explained the photo diplomacy sharing aspect of the project and asked for a guide to take us to nearby areas where children are bereft of personal photos. We walked escorted by Neema, an employee at the Ngurdoto Lodge, a mere 5 minutes to the local village and set up kids with the abundantly growing corn (maize) as a backdrop. The eyes widen with amazement when the photos emerged from the tiny printer as thy watched.
Modern man, especially the rural inhabitants, toil according to centuries old methods with limited interfaces with modernity, yet smiles abound. Our experiences were shared moments of delight and joy.
Gloria, a professional documentary phodographer said:
I to have traveled globally to some of the poorest countries in the world as a photographer. I recognize how badly families in these underserved communities are in need of food, medical care, education, etc. For the children in these communities it’s not always about what they need, how about the need to just be a kid. I think that Dog Meets World is a simple way to say hi, how beautiful you are. I left 75 Polaroid pics of children and mother’s with FOTO in a Maasai Village in central Tanzania. They have never had a picture of themselves, and to watch as the image developed in front of their eyes was simply amazing to them. It didn’t fill their belly’s, it simply gave them joy.
Gloria is a professional documentary photographer (and phoDOGrapher too!) who founded A Global Connection, a charity focusing on the needs of women and children. She learned of Dog Meets World via PhotoPhilanthropy. Gloria said Foto, the dog, “lights up the surroundings” and delighted all kids and adults alike!
The Olmoti district was set aside for the Maasai people by the government. Since it is off the beaten path of safari travelers the children rarely see tourists. Gloria said “It was amazing to see the faces of the mothers as they watched the image of themselves, and this case her baby develop before their eyes. This was her first ever photograph.” The mother is holding the small photograph of in her right hand of herself with Foto and her baby.
Gloria speaks eloquently of the need for all of us that travel to truly see the “invisible” along the way. Stopping to share pictures and acknowledgment is a great way to start! Gloria gave out over 200 photos with Foto! Donate now.
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