Archive for the ‘Aid organization’ Category

Focus: Nepal and the relief effort

The recent earthquakes in Nepal have been devastating to a country already plagued with problems such as fuel, water and electricity shortages, political instability and uncertainty, and unemployment or rather lack of employment opportunities for its youth.

Pic: AP.

Pic: AP.

I’ve written a number of articles about the ongoing relief effort and needs in Nepal, which are, as with many disasters, not always what one envisages. One article highlighting more practical ways to help was for Asian Correspondent:

But the reality is that numerous problems existed in Nepal before these tragedies, and they will linger long after the international aid effort ceases. And all these issues such as health, education, town planning, traffic management, political stability and fuel supplies will contribute in some way, big or small, to tackling other disasters like this in the future.

It’s a common knee jerk reaction to send $50 or to rush in and assist in a disaster and there’s nothing wrong with that. Aid is required in all forms at this time and much is needed. However the need for sustainable development and rebuilding will be vital in Nepal in the months and years ahead.

Sadly these twin earthquakes have perhaps highlighted those needs in a way nothing else could. For instance there has long been a need for better infrastructure planning, tighter building construction codes and other industry issues affecting architecture in Nepal.

Continue reading at Asian Correspondent.

I have had contact through my Cameras for Asia program with a number of community groups in Nepal. Fortunately all the children and staff at these centres are safe, although they have sustained damage to their buildings. However it’s been encouraging to see them seeking to help others even though they are challenged with resources and funds themselves all the time, earthquake or not.

As I received a few requests for details on where would be a good place to send funds, I recommend either CWC ( or ITEEN ( who I know personally and are genuinely involved in the local relief effort beyond their regular work. See their pages for bank details. ITEEN (also involved in lobbying for human rights and freedoms in Nepal) is planning to rebuild homes and also has a Go Fund Me Link ( Alternatively in the article above were links to more big budget organisations involved in Nepal.

Do note I am currently travelling and posting photos primarily to Facebook. Please see these links: Visited Planet photojournalism and Cameras for Asia.


All images are purchasable through the Visited Planet database. Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Visited Planet 2012 calendar

In addition to the Cameras for Asia calendar project, Visited Planet has also launched a calendar featuring images from the database by photojournalist Joanne Lane.

The purchase of this calendar is an invaluable support for the work of Visited Planet in countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Myanmar.

The Visited Planet 2012 calendar celebrates the diversity of nations with colourful images of life, culture and joy. But it also highlights the ongoing struggles people face around the world and the ways in which Visited Planet has been involved with them. Your purchase of this calendar will enable the ongoing work and efforts of Visited Planet, particularly in Asia. This has sometimes taken place through classroom lessons teaching English, photography, sports and other subjects to equip people with new skills. It has also been documentary in nature photographing and writing recovery efforts and struggles after adversity in an attempt to encourage and motivate people. And support has also been in the form of monetary donations to enhance developmental programs whether that be fledgling businesses or small projects to enable people to feel empowered and instilled with hope for a future where freedom and restoration is possible. Please see for further details.

Click here to purchase your calendar!
Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Cameras for Asia: Myanmar 2012 calendar now on sale

In 2009 and 2011 Visited Planet taught photography skills to an orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar. The images from the 2011 lessons are now on sale and the purchase of a calendar will go directly back into helping these kids get an education, learn new skills and help build a positive future for Myanmar.

There will be further blogs with some of the other images the kids took in their lessons, in the meantime do click through to view the 16 images in this calendar and please consider supporting them.

This collection of 16 images are from the 2011 lessons that encompassed portraits, macro, action photography and composition. It was wonderful to see the children go from learning how to switch a camera on and release the shutter with unsteady hands to becoming eager and proficient photographers – for the first time learning skills we take for granted. With flowers, agriculture, markets and portraits their photos should give you an insight into how these children see and photograph their own country. The cameras they used were donated by people from Brisbane, Australia and were left at the orphanage for ongoing use. All profits from the sale of this calendar will go directly to the orphanage. Please contact for more details.

Click here to read more or purchase your calendar!


Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Photo gallery: Mt Merapi the mountain of fire

Mt Merapi is one of the 76 active volcanoes in Indonesia. In fact it’s the most volatile of all with smoke billowing from the summit 300 days a year and frequent eruptions that often claim lives.

In October 2010 the volcanic activity on the mountain escalated as lava, smoke and ash erupted into the surrounding region killing 353 people and displacing 320,000.

Project work I visited in this region in May 2011 has been multi-fold:
* assisting in the rebuild of homes destroyed by lava flow, fire, ash and flood waters
* restoring cattle herds and farming land to residents reliant on these industries for food/business
* re-establishing drinking water sources
* replacing destroyed/lost school uniforms and books

The smoking culprit - Mt Merapi.

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Reflections on disaster recovery

A house sitting in a swimming pool during the Brisbane floods, January 2011.

A friend called around the other day who had just been over to visit his family in Christchurch. He was visibly upset and moved by what he had seen – old people having to leave their home to use chemical toilets in the street, roads ripped up making it so hard to get around, buildings destroyed, people leaving the city every day, others kind of camping permanently in cars…

It prompted quite some discussion on what people actually go through after a disaster, particularly after the initial event and once the news headlines die down about what has happened. Just because something is no longer in the news doesn’t mean things are suddenly back to normal. Or that houses are rebuilt, sewerage put back in, services returned and so forth.

This is the reaction I have received numerous times when I’ve made some comment about the house. “What exactly do you have to do?” people have asked mystified forgetting the house sat in water for about five days in January during the Brisbane floods and the under storey was completely destroyed.

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Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.