Stories for those who cannot tell their own.
In Mathare, the oldest slum in all of Africa, approximately 500,000 people live in a 1 x 3 mile area with population densities reaching a staggering 1,250 inhabitants per 2.5 acres.
But there is light in the darkness. Bright Hope, an NGO out of Chicago, has partnered with Mathare Community Outreach, a local mission lead by Bishop Daniel Ogutu and his wife Magdaline. In 2009 and 2013, we traveled with Bright Hope to document their incredible work.
Contact Ministries provides free on-site program services and community resources to poverty level families and individuals in Springfield to increase their economic self-sufficiency and reduce their dependency on public assistance. They offer a short-term emergency shelter that provides a safe place to sleep, an evening meal, and a place to take a shower and do laundry. They also offer a Transitional shelter for women with children. This is an aggressive 6 month program focused on establishing future stability and self-sufficiency.
The Luka The Lion Foundation honors Luka Fisher, born March 4, 2014, who fought bravely like a lion his entire life with a rare disease that is thought to be unique to him. Luka endured a lifetime of medical treatment all while teaching those he encountered to embody the characteristics of a lion: beauty, bravery, strength, and resilience. Luka passed away on December 1, 2015, but continues to guide the foundation as they support kids like him who brave rare disease and their care-giving families.
Hope for the First Nations has been partnering with the people of the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota since 1997. American Indian reservations face unique conditions and challenges of poverty. Income, employment, and educational attainment in these areas are considerably lower than national averages. Nearly ten percent of families on reservations are homeless.
Hope for the First Nations aims to reach the most vulnerable in this community with a week-long, summertime day camp for children ages 4 through 12, as well as various infrastructure work projects throughout the year. In 2010, Hope for the First Nations invited us to document their work.
Bridge Bread is a social enterprise designed to provide job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness or those who are housing insecure. The goal of the program is to help the disadvantaged engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity and enables them to help themselves. About three-quarters of the income from bread sales goes to the bakers in wages, taxes, and benefits. About one-quarter covers the cost of ingredients. Rent, utilities, insurance and other costs are covered by donations.
Young Philanthropists is a giving circle invigorating young community leaders to join together to be philanthropists and to learn more about themselves as donors. By pooling and leveraging their resources, members are creating greater community impact by growing the Future Fund – a permanent endowment fund at the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln that has given more than $59,000 to local programs that help children and youth. Grants are determined through a competitive process with members serving on the selection committee.
This tradition of fine art has brought artists and shoppers from across the country to downtown Springfield's two-day outdoor art gallery for over 50 years. Free to the public, the juried fair is dedicated to top quality and media variety, keeping more than 30,000 eager buyers coming back each year.