Here at Lomography we are all about the importance of community forming through the use of photography, which is why we would like to bring attention to a project with a similar ideology: KIOO Project.
KIOO Project (pronounced KEY-oh) is an organization whose mission is “to change gender dynamics in economically-challenged communities through photography.” They advance gender equality in marginalized communities by teaching photography to girls who then teach photography to boys in return. The goal of this is to help girls build self-confidence and leadership skills while boys recognize the leadership ability of girls and see them as equals.
In the workshops, the girls learn different kinds of photographic techniques. Then the girls get to become teachers for the boys by instructing them in their newly acquired skills.
The team at KIOO Project have worked with children all over the world in Haiti, Kenya, India, Uganda, Ethiopia, as well as in Brooklyn, New York.
“Showing kids the importance and benefits of working together, learning from one another, and putting an end to gender-based discrimination— I don’t know if there’s a more important message right now,” photographer Marcus Russell Price said in a recent Instagram Reel. Price recently teamed up with the project and their efforts to change gender dynamics.
This fall KIOO Project is “focusing their lens” on Nepal. In partnership with the Himalayan Children's Charities, they will be hosting a 10-day workshop with young girls and boys in Kathmandu, Nepal. All of the camera and printing equipment KIOO Project brings to Nepal will stay with their local partner who will continue to work with the students in teaching more gender-based photography assignments over the following 12 months.
"Our workshop locations are chosen because of the local partners. When an organization believes in the power of girls and wants to foster gender equality in their communities by engaging girls and boys, we want to work with them. And as we've discovered of late, gender equality is needed everywhere. That's why we're not focused on just one region of the world. I connected with our Nepal partner a few years ago, but of course we could not host a workshop with them these past few years because of COVID. But now that the world is opening up again, we are ready to head to Nepal this fall," Babita Patel, Founder and Executive Director of KIOO Project, said about their upcoming trip.
If you’d like to support KIOO Project in their efforts to picture equality, donate to their fundraiser for their upcoming workshop in Nepal. Don’t forget to check out their website, where you can read more about their mission as well as show support through buying prints of the girls and boys’ photos. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo to keep up with their mission!