My second, and final collaboration with Alas Solidarias was to be a trip to Baghdad to bring a young boy, Anas, back to Spain for an emergency heart operation.
In the end, we found ourselves meeting Anas and his mother in Queen Alia airport in Amman, Jordan.
This project, and the NGO itself, was in many ways a disaster. While I should be distancing myself, I do think that the experience has been invaluable and has been put to good, effective use in projects with other organisations that followed.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of following Clowns without Borders South Africa was the audience reaction. The children were very often squealing with laughter but part of the magic was in watching their expressions change and the different emotions they revealed - confusion, intrigue, wonder, curiosity, joy and even pity (for the clowns) at times.
And of course, with such a large number of children, you find so many different personalities - from the wild, excitable ones who leap up at every opportunity, to the quiet, reserved ones who reveal their emotions in a more introverted way.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite "faces" from the Vuka Mphakathi (Awakening the Community) programme in Swaziland.
I could be accused of removing all the fun from these photos by publishing them in black and white. I'm probably guilty but I think the true colour of the images is in their faces.
As part of the International Save the Children Conference in London (2010), we prepared a short montage of key projects undertaken by Save the Children Swaziland.
The three main items were:
more info: Facebook > Save the Children Swaziland
Save the Children Swaziland needed to provide image content for the annual review conference in London, 2009. We covered their three principal projects at the time; school feeding program, Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs) and Ses'Khona youth radio.
For more from my work with Save the Children Swaziland, follow this link
Alas Solidarias is a Spanish NGO of pilots who aimed to provide logistical support to other NGO operations in areas such as the Western Sahara, Niger, Morocco and Iraq.
I accompanied them on their first missions in order to document their work and provide publicity material for future work.
Alas Solidarias, a Spanish NGO of pilots, were flying into Niger on a reconnaissance mission and establish contact with a number of NGO's in the region.
I went along to document the trip and produce a half hour promotional video. The resulting three-part video can be viewed below.
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