I often mention the issue of whether or not photographers can “change the world”. It’s something we could speculate about, but what I firmly believe is that you can at least change someone’s world, or to put it simply – improve someone’s life. And it’s precisely what a group of photo enthusiasts is trying to do.
Joined through Epic Photo Tours and guided by Herb Leventon, this group changes the world of those who live in darkness. They have donated over 400 solar lights to the people from remote villages who live without any light once the sun sets. And of course, they have documented it in a series of beautiful images from different parts of the globe.
As Herb tells Bored Panda, his goal is always to stress to the group that they should see what they have instead of contemplating what they don’t have. It’s a great way of thinking, applicable to many situations in life. But then you realize there are people living without something we couldn’t imagine our lives without – light.
In some areas, people light kerosene lamps that emit toxic fumes. In the others, they live in complete darkness and all the light they have is while the Sun’s up in the sky. While traveling with Epic Photo Tours, Herb would ask these people what was one of the things that could change their life most. And all of them said it was light. So he and his group decided to do what they could and give these people light and change their lives.
Thanks to the donations, they have managed to buy over 400 solar lamps so far. They’ve given them to the households where people lived in darkness and helped them prolong the period of light, which impacted many things in their lives. Herb notes that these lights help people prepare food even after the sun sets, the kids can do their homework in the evening, and even businesses stay open for a longer time. And he and his photo group captured some beautiful photos, often assisted with these lights.
Personally, I can’t imagine a life without enough light, and not to mention living half of each day in complete darkness. This is why I really appreciate Herb’s gesture, and of course, all the other people who donated to make this possible. I believe they have changed the lives of many for the better, and of course – I love these photos they’ve taken along the way. So, maybe photography can’t change the world (or can it?), but there are photographers willing to try and change someone’s life – and it works just fine for me.
[via Bored Panda; image credits: Herb Leventon, cover image: Sandra Boles]