See the world through their eyes

A short note, before you go on reading about this project – the competition is over and we did not make it to the next phase.  Nevertheless, we received over 260 votes, most coming from people we know, and that was really heartwarming.

Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to register and vote!

Until the next adventure!

Children of the world tell their story with photographs.

You are probably here either because I sent you a message asking to support my dream or because you were referred here by one of my friends whom I asked to help. In any case, thank you for taking the time to read about the project and thank you in advance for voting for it.

I know I should be working on my A-exams right now (which I do most of the time these days, really!*), but this is too cool of an opportunity to let it go. In a nutshell, Lenovo and Microsoft are giving away US $50K with very few strings attached to undertake a photography project. To get that, my proposal needs to get as many votes as possible on the project website and I need to get those votes by the April 3, 2009 deadline.

Following is a slightly more detailed description of what I have published on the project website and an explanation of how you can help (hint: vote, or as they say PIC IT, and tell your friends to do the same, please!).

What?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could take a snapshot of the world through the eyes of children? Don’t you think it would be really interesting to see how they see the world? What angles they take on their daily life? What are the little things they note? What they dream about? And what they can do if handed a simple digital camera? What if we could do it globally?

I think my project is rather different from other projects proposed on the competition website. I do intend taking photos, but more so, I want to give out simple digital camera to elementary school children in different corners of the world and ask them to take pictures the way they like. I think a collection of such photographs would be a really fascinating and unique take on what this world looks like today.

How?

I think the budget of US $50K can allow reaching all 5 corners of the world and get at least 100 children involved worldwide. Of course it is easier said than done. I will have to find children willing to participate, I will have to receive their parents’ consent, and I will have to be in contact with the children during the photo-project. I hope, however, that with the publicity that comes with the prize it would be relatively easy to find local partners who would be willing to participate (local communities, NGOs, etc.), which would be helpful. Besides, I think I have a broad enough network of international friends, and I hope you guys will be willing to help, especially with the local links. Depending on the costs of travel to the specific places and the costs of the cameras, I think it is reasonable to think about 5-10 locations in a span of about a year and half.

I think at this point it is good to keep the exact framework flexible and I would like to get all of you who are interested, involved in deciding on the specific location and the specific communities to include in the project.

The final outcome will be a website with a collection of the pictures taken by the children in the different locations, accompanied by a photo-report of them taking those pictures, and with the narrative of the project. I believe that put together this will tell a really fascinating story.

Why?

You may ask, why should you care about this project? Why would this be important/interesting? First, I think seeing a snapshot of the world through the eyes of the children can be really fascinating. I hope their pictures will show what they see in similar ways and what they see differently. Second, I think it will be really inspiring. It will be inspiring for the children who will participate. It will be inspiring for the people who will follow the project and take part shaping it. It will be inspiring for the people who will view the outcomes. And quite frankly, I think it will be really inspiring for me.

Why am I doing this? As I said, I find this idea inspiring. I am really looking forward to observing how children in different corners of the world see it and how they are looking at their own lives. For me this is really fascinating! I think this is a cool idea and I think it is doable. It is a really good opportunity and it would be sad to let it go. I view this prize as potential seed money and who knows what this project can evolve into.

How can you help?

There are three ways in which you can help:

  1. Vote!
    Please vote! On the site, they use the term “PIC IT” for voting.  Unfortunately, you need to register on the competition website in order to vote, but it is really quick and I hope you will be willing to spend 2 minutes and a few clicks to help this dream come true. The currently leading proposal has only about 300 votes. I have over 600 Facebook friends whom I am reaching out to. We can easily make it to the top! The deadline for voting is April 3, 2009. Every vote counts!
  2. Tell a friend!
    If you share my excitement about the idea, please take a few moments to think about other people who can get fascinated by it and feel free forwarding them this link or better yet, the link of my submission on the competition website. Please digg it, sphere it, share it, or use any other way available on the web. It would be really great to see the power of the network in action.
  3. Share your ideas!
    As I explained above, I really want this to be a joint project, so feel free to use the comment space to share your ideas about potential places to go. Better yet, you can do it on the competition website, because creating a conversation there will definitely bring more votes.

Thank you for reading and please vote!!!

The deadline to cast your vote is April 3.

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More ways to get involved and keep up to date

Facebook group: “Help me realize a dream!

Hi5 group “Help me realize a dream!

Flickr thread: “See the world through their eyes!

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* Special note to Tarleton, Bruce, Katherine, and Milton – If you are reading this, I really want to assure you that I AM working on the A-exams!

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