Archive for the ‘Aid program’ 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

Cameras for Asia: India part 2

The second Cameras for Asia: India workshop was held  outside the city of Hyderabad in Andra Pradesh at a training institute.

It’s a holistic training centre where people come from all over India to receive free training in skills that can help support them – animal husbandry, sewing, vegetable growing etc – so they can return to serve their communities and make a wage for themselves. It’s an incredibly innovative place.
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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

10 images to brighten your day

I visited a friend in hospital on Saturday who has AIDS. Since my last visit he’d had a rough week – vomiting up all his food. He looked even more gaunt and skinny, if that’s possible.

I’d taken in some prints of my work as he’d expressed an interest last week to see some of my photography. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare anything – just took in a few of my calendars, cards and old prints that were lying around.

Somehow in that pile of images were some really great, colourful shots that brought a smile to his lips. He particularly loved any of the images of India and my parents hiking in New Zealand.

I’ve included some of the images in this list of shots that I showed him and I dedicate all of them to Rudy and the 33.4 million people living worldwide with HIV/AIDS.

Hiking the Key Summit track, Routeburn, New Zealand

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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.