You Can Donate Your Old Camera Gear to Help At-Risk Children

Sony is partnering with the Photo Start foundation to encourage people to donate used (and new) working cameras, lenses, and accessories to help at-risk children around the world. The project uses photography to teach and improve self-reliance, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

The Photo Start foundation works in “distressed regions” where education and opportunities are limited. It teaches students the art and business of photography, with an aim to reducing poverty and increasing educational opportunities.

Graduates of the program will be able to use digital cameras and know how to master light. They’ll understand “best practices” for a digital workflow, digital production, and digital asset management.

“It is important to amplify the voices of those we have never heard from, and otherwise never would,” says Photo Start in its mission statement. “To this end, we provide equipment, learning space, and one on one guidance with our program participants.”

The students of the program also develop leadership traits that are “highly translatable and extremely marketable.” Once a student has completed the program, they will hopefully go on to foster a career and break away from poverty.

“Since I joined Photo Start, one thing I have strongly felt is the importance of this program. The kids are young and in need of the opportunity to be kids again,” says Charles Gathingira, a volunteer at Photo Start. “Photo Start gives them that. The kids don’t have very basic things like a play area, so they have to make do on the roadside. With Photo Start, they have had the opportunity to go on trips, exhibitions, and visits away from the slums.”

The foundation encourages those who wish to help to send equipment to Photo Start, 119 West 72nd St., #140. New York, NY 10023. You can also learn more on the foundation’s website.