This program holds a special place for me because of a little Thai boy from Kut ta phet. In 2006 I took my first rural school photos in a small village in central Thailand. Realising that many of the childrens' families could never afford to have a camera to photograph their children, I decided to take the opportunity and become a 'school photographer'. That year, all the kids lined up and I photographed them one by one.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet all the kids at the school and engage with the community on another level. It was also a chance to use my skills as a photographer to contribute something of value to the people living in the area.
Just before returning a year later, I received terrible news that one of the boys at the school had tragically drowned in the local river. The school photo I took was the only photo his family had to remember him by. We were able to enlarge some photos and frame them for his grieving parents. I still think of that little boy and I'm grateful I was able to provide them with a photo for them to remember him by.
That year I photographed the kids at three of the local primary schools.
When we began to sponsor the schools in Cambodia, I was determined to continue the tradition of taking school photos, as I know many families in Cambodia would not have photos of their children.
Our School Photos Program is one of the many things Let's Build a School is doing at both the Shintoshin and Hironaka Schools. We've put together a little piece on this program. We hope you enjoy!