Chapter 14 Lomo Kikuyu: The Central Administrative and Financial Headquarters: Light for the World in Vienna

In the meantime, the whole fuss about eyesight, Kikuyu, safaris and cataracts has set you a-thinking. How do the people here in the rich parts of the world find out that the sick in Kenya need our help? Who donates to whom? And what exactly is Light for the World? More and more questions are partially answered at www.lomography.com/kikuyu.

In case, though, hard facts, excerpts from the actual progress report of the Kikuyu Eye Unit and Light for the World and hot statistics leave you cold, you have already thoroughly studied them or if you simply want to continue reading, you have arrived at just the right spot. Before we finally convince you in the following chapter that your money is invested in Kikuyu as well as it could possibly be invested, we would still like to tell you a little bit more about the organisation on whose bank account your money, donated by buying this book, finally arrives.

Light for the World has its headquarters in Vienna, from where all kinds of donations, a goodly sum of money, are dispersed into the wide world. With the organisation supervising so many projects around the globe, you can probably imagine that this is no easy task. Which is why a whole bunch of clever people, who have a broad range of duties, work for Light for the World: a few in the honorary board of directors ensure that everything in the organisation is running smoothly, for example. One managing director also keeps a watchful eye over the whole thing, and others take care of the finances. Most of them however, work on projects, doing PR work and with benefactor-communication: Project work consists of supervising already functioning projects, evaluating them, setting up new projects and cooperating with local aid organisations and NGDOs (Non Governmental Development Organisations). This ensures that the money donated is not squandered anywhere unnecessarily, but is used efficiently with careful control of the project workers and a number of field trips to inspect the locations every year. The PR work, on the other hand, ensures that, as the name suggests, the grand public gets wind of the whole operation. So you are probably asking yourself whether, for example, posters and radio or TV commercials are being financed by the self-same donations, meaning serious inroads into the budget of Light for the World? Nope, they aren’t. Apart from the fact that every donor can see exactly what project and in which country their donation is going to, so the commercials and similarly important ancillary stuff are financed separately by specific generous-spirited firms. This means that the poster in front of your window was not paid for by Mrs Schmidt’s small donation or Mr Lopez’s from next door – they both want their money to go into direct aid elsewhere. What happens is that various printers, graphic design studios, film production companies, billboard owners and television stations are willing to produce the commercials, posters and broadcasts for free because they are companies that like to do a bit of good once in a while (so as to polish up their image, and we should be happy about that!). But the busy co-workers of Light for the World can’t live off love and air. Even these friendly, dynamic and clever individuals have to pay for their daily bread. A must for any organisation is PR and mediation work, but they do also need an office with computers, desks etc., however more than 73% of the donations goes straight into project work.

What haven’t we covered yet? You guessed it, benefactor-communication. The industrious spirits working here make sure that, for example, innumerable private donors at home (like those two gregarious souls Mrs Schmidt and Mr Lopez) receive precise and accurate information (and bank transfer slips) regularly, or that larger businesses and firms are given individual attention and advice about how to make their donations. Here’s an example: somebody is shown a list of necessary medical equipment that they could then finance. This makes donating easy. It is good and it really makes sense. Just the way we like it. Enough said, you can find out exactly how clear-cut the operation is for yourself in the future.

You can hardly wait – just like Mrs Schmidt and her whole circle of girlfriends, Mr Lopez and his Canasta round and all the other people, young and old, small and large, round and skinny, chubby cheeked and hollow faced and so forth– to donate to Light for the World and the Kikuyu Eye Unit. On to the next chapter!

Lomo Kikuyu It’s good to see (again). Every Lomographer along with their friends and acquaintances worldwide is being appealed to donate 30 Euros/30 American dollars to save a person’s eyesight. Get the chance to do this by getting your own Lomo Kikuyu Book now.

written by ungrumpy on 2011-12-06 #library #lomography #kikuyu #kenya #excerpt

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