You want to change the world? You want to create jobs? End poverty? Then give the corporate powers that be a profit motive. Profit from the poor. Sounds absurd, doesn't it? But it is the most effective and efficient way to mobilize capital to solve problems in our world. Give people a means to make some money and they will move mountains.
Rondey Rascona is a internationally renown, award winning photographer with decades of commercial experience in the ad and humanitarian industries. He holds the prestigious Photographer of the Year: Deeper Perspective honor from the Lucie Awards. He has been covering stories and creating amazing bodies of work for Food for the Hungry for roughly the last 13 years. He also happens to be a dear friend and Photographer in Residence at The Paradigm Project.
The Woodwalk is complete, over and finished. The walk was a success, people were impacted and changed, and awareness of what women go through just to cook was delivered on a national scale. The dust has settled now and I sit at my desk wondering what I should be doing with myself. 10 days of walking with 50-70 pounds of wood on my back all day is a life-changing experience to say the least...
Qaqe walks about 36km from Kalacha to El Wato and back to fetch a bundle of firewood; which, about two months ago, she would use for 2-3 days. The walk took about 10 hours from about 6am to 4pm in hot weather. Qaqe says ‘I am very exhausted after one trip and with the frequent trips, would be sick in bed with backache for two to three days. “It is not easy carrying a load of firewood for such a long distance.”
A bare light bulb dimly illuminates the tiny 8x8 foot space where she’ll lovingly prepare the first set of the 28 meals her family will eat today. Frida smiles: one of those rare smiles which, if the sun didn’t rise, if the sky was never blue and were to remain dark and gray, would alone give you enough light to forget your earthly worries. She has no time for small talk this morning. She rushes from the house, where she sets a small table for her husband before he journeys off to work, and then back to the kitchen.
Bending down to grab a hand full of branches to fuel her stove, fragments left over from her last back breaking haul from the forest, Emily pushed open the door to the heart of her home, her kitchen, to the sounds of two small lambs purring, staring wide-eyed out from under a rough hewn bench.
Sarah came to Torbi after she was married to Roba, and tells me, “instead of the deforested landscape you see today for miles around us, 20 years ago not many people had settled there yet.” All you could see were forests of green trees and wild animals with a much cooler temperature than it is now.