Category Archives: Humanitarian

Although this blog is primarily for my UK wedding and portrait work I thought I’d share a few images from my recent Africa assignment.  If you’d like to see more about my humanitarian photography work you can head over to visioningimages.com. As many of you know I concentrate on my overseas work during the winter months which means that blog posts here at Wayne Rowe Photography are few and far between during this time but here’s a few highlights from my Outreach International assignment to Malawi and Zambia.

Malawi has a rich culture, often called the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, this was definitely what I experienced from day 1 in the country. In all of the villages we went to we were greeted with singing and dancing, even whilst walking through the fields surrounding the communities women would break out into song.

Here’s a recording I took of some of their singing, click on the play button and continue to look at the rest of the photos as you listen.

[audio:http://waynerowephotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Malawi-Singing.mp3|titles=Malawi Singing]

It was amazing to hear the songs and see the traditional dress from both men and women.

Whenever I visit communities that are suffering from poverty it’s always a bitter-sweet experience particularly when meeting children. It’s heart-wrenching to see the hardships that these young ones have to endure.

But endure they do.

And always, there are still smiles and laughter everywhere.

I met some wonderful people, Marijah pictured above, runs a small health clinic for her community, people now have access to basic medical supplies through her voluntary work.

Gender equality is still a problem in Malawi yet the village of Kachindahara are turning those traditions on its head. The community chief (left photo) insisted on showing me how he was able to cook nsima, the staple food for Malawians. In the past, this certainly wasn’t something the chief would do but he proved that they are committed to equality. Couples now work side by side on the farmland and women are involved in all aspects of family decision making.

On my final day in Malawi I couldn’t resist a game of football with some of the lads, but they were good….very good! Needless to say, they ran circles around me; of course I blamed the searing heat and uneven playing surface!

Zambia

Then on to Zambia. Although I only had a few days in the country I still got to meet some amazing people.

Chaka was a boy I met in Malembeka, you can learn more about him and his story over on my Visioning Images blog here. In short, Chaka was unable to go to school but since Outreach International have helped to set up the school for vulnerable and orphan children, he now has access to an education and a much brighter future.

The school is run by volunteer teachers and the parents of the children pool together the funds to pay for the room rental from the local church.

Here’s Chaka showing mum  his school work.

I also met Chabota who made a living from making african broom heads, selling them in the local community.

In Luana, I had the privilege of spending time with Taonga who was so proud of how his life, and that of his family, has been transformed over the last few years. Only three years ago, he was struggling to have enough food to feed the family each day but now has a house with furnishings and eats three meals a day.

This has all been achieved through learning simple farming techniques and being able to produce food on land which everyone else said was unfarmable. All his produce is organic and the local community prefer the food he grows to that which is produced using chemical fertilisers.

And again, laughing children everywhere!

All photos by Wayne Rowe / Visioning Images

Copyright 2011 www.outreach-international.org

After nine flights and just under three weeks later I’m on UK soil again and it’s good to be home. The pc is currently working overtime importing all the images from this assignment with Outreach International so I thought I’d post a brief blog. The trip took me to the high altitudinal area of Vacas in Bolivia (altitudinal, is that even a word?). It was an amazing experience, in fact, I’d go as far as to say that this was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. The air was so clean and pure, the landscape was breathtaking and the people were incredibly welcoming to us. It never ceases to amaze me how people in such adverse poverty can still find the ability to exude a warmth which is often so lacking in our own communities. Once this computer stops whirring I’ll start to process the images I took there and I’m sure they’ll soon find their way onto my Visioning Images blog.

You’re probably assuming that the image above was taken in Bolivia, actually, it wasn’t. I’ve found myself travelling through Miami several times this year and on this occasion we had 9 hours to kill at the airport before our next flight so we decided to head into Miami to take a look around for a while. I say ‘we’ because my mum was travelling with me, she too was going to Bolivia as part of a site visit with Outreach International. Anyway, we chose to walk along the South Miami Beach area thinking we’d find a cafe or bar to get a drink. We walked for ages before we finally came across a place to go, seriously Miami, you need to get your tourism act together, you’re missing out on a lot of trade there! On the positive side, I came across this solitary tree and thought it’d make a reasonable shot, I know it’s a bit arty but I like it anyway.

Well, the pc has finished moaning so I’d better get back to work. I’ve got a few more weeks on my humanitarian photography work and then I’ll be in to my wedding season so looking forward to that.