If A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: What is the value of a camera?

This is an unusual blog post for me, as a photographer, to be writing. At the same time, it is only logical, that I be the one writing this.

Last summer I traveled to West Africa with the Cameroon Football Development Program. My job was to begin documentation of this sports for development program, as we worked with our local team in Cameroon, to train leaders, and launch our program to eight different schools within the Kumba (large town in the Southwest region). If you followed my blog last summer then you will remember the work that we were doing. If not be sure to check out the link to my blog, as well as my posts on the CFDP Blog.

We ended the summer with presenting the team members with four cameras to continue to document the program throughout the year.

Around September, the first camera died. By December, all that was left was one camera, and eight schools to document programs in. This year, we are hoping to expand to 15 schools, and begin to branch out to other towns in the Southwest Province.

This is a gear post. This is equipment that we need, to run or program effectively.

Because I believe in the mission of CFDP, to leverage soccer, as a sustainable platform for promoting health and social development among West African youthI am sending over an Olympus point and shoot camera with battery (an extra one if I can find it), charger, and memory cards, and a DVD player so that we can create visual training materials for people that are not in close proximity to our core area of operations.

But that is just a start. Here is a list of things that we need: in good operating condition.

*Digital cameras with accessories. (Batteries, chargers, memory cards, and cables)
We need as many of these as we can get, because of the inability to get them fixed, and the harsh environment, even with lots of care, they take abuse.

*Windows laptops with Microsoft Office,  good batteries, and cables. The majority of our work is in the field, and a number of these are greatly needed for presentations, communication, education and general house keeping.

*Flip Video Cameras (or something similar) Digital is important because getting things converted for sending can be very difficult. However, HD is not needed because trying to upload HD footage could take days.

*Projectors are important for showing large groups of students, as well as group education.

*DVD Players to take to schools, and training centers, for team education

I am donating one, so most likely we need three or four more.

These items are crucial to our being able to promote, educate, and document this program effectively.

All donations are tax deductible, and your help is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, or would like to Get in the Game or Donate Gear please contact me, or email founder Justin Forzano: justin@cameroonfdp.org

 

A trip to Barombi Village-Pittsburgh Documentary Photographer

Not long ago, Justin the founder of the Cameroon Football Development Program, lived in a village outside of our hoe base of Kumba. He was working with the University of Dayton, in Ohio, to design and construct a water system for a farming village that is set off of the beautiful Lake Barombi. The project was quite an undertaking, and after months of hard work the project was finished. Now Justin has returned to Cameroon, for the fifth time, to start the Cameroon Football Development Program. CFDP is designed to engage the youth of Cameroon, and eventually West Africa, in life skills, and HIV education on the soccer field.

I met Justin in the late fall, and we began working together. I redesigned their website on a wordpress platform, and integrated their blog, so that as things move along, whoever is managing their PR, and online presence, can easily mange everything from one menu. They loved the results, and now I am spending two months in Cameroon photographing their project, and shooting videos to help explain the different facets of the program.

Today, join me on a trip to Barombi, across the lake in a wooden canoe that I was sure was going to deposit myself and cameras in the lake.

The trip to Barombi... Every time the "boat" aka hollowed tree trunk, shifted my stomach was in my mouth


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Inquisitive Eyes: Children-Pittsburgh Documentary Photographer

Here in Cameroon nearly every type of event draws a crowd. You could be having a choir practice, and it is pretty much guaranteed that a group will assemble to listen to the singing. Replace singing with soccer, and you could have five people or 100 people watching. The crowd usually consists of kids that hear something is going on, random people walking by, and people selling stuff. That stuff could be street food, clothing, shoes, or even basic toiletries like soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper. In my observations, it seems like at least half the population purchases these thing from someone walking around the street selling them.

Over time, I will show you more of the scene as it unfolds, but for today, the focus of my lens was children standing around watching our soccer camps, and practices.

Enjoy.


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