HOW THEY SEE THE GOLD RUSH / THE PUERTO MALDONADO PROJECT

Florida Baja, Puerto Maldonado, Madre De Dios, Peru, April 2014

Daniel Malka Madre De Dios Peru

River Madre De Dios,Peru, the shores of many rivers are destroyed by gold mining

Thanks to a collaboration with the NGO ANIA, we brought the How They See project to Florida Baja, a district of about 80 families located 50 km of Puerto Maldonado, on the Interoceanic Highway in Madre De Dios, Peru.

The project was run with the cooperation of the teacher, director of a primary school, harboring 22 children aged 6 to 13 years old, all in the same classroom.

The stories told by the children and families of Florida Baja gives us a cross-section of life in the area of Puerto Maldonado in the jungle of Peru.
They are a testimony of the severe multilevel issues caused by the rising price of gold and the ongoing illegal gold mining in Madre De Dios.

Of course, the lack of resources and struggle to meet basic living needs is a common denominator. Most families struggle to make ends meet.
I can not put in words my outrage at the social consequences, minors rights violations and environmental disaster brought about by the gold rush in this jungle of Peru.

Once again, I need to emphasize the importance of story telling education in populations at risk to give us a true cross section of the issues voiced so bluntly and so honestly by the children when they are given the opportunity and tools to do so in the safe environment we create for them.

The School

The Class

Main Issues Observed and/or Reported to Us
- Extreme poverty
- Child abuse
- Prostitution
- Sexual Abuse of minors (reported to authorities, to be discussed in a separate article)
- Lack of resources for proper education: computer, internet, books, sustained children rights education, social worker aid.
- Severe deforestation and mercury contamination of rivers, wildlife and vegetation by gold mining: 70,000 acres of jungle in 4 years.

11 year old with her 10 day old baby as a result of sexual abuse by step father

Results Achieved with 35 hours of classes and 8 days living in the community
- Complete program in verbal story telling, drawing and documentary photography
- discovery of new talent
- Group interaction and promoting self value
- Create a safe environment for the children to tell their stories
- Identification of serious social issues and immediate needs of the children
- Focus of classes on the environment and childrens rights
- Repair the school playground
- Supply the school with the tools and seeds for an orchard
- Involve families in the building of a model orchard to be replicated at home with the plants of the school orchard.
- Emphasize the importance of the orchards as a source of better nutrition, protecting the environment, and as a potential alternate source of income to working in mining.

The drawing class

Documenting The Orchard

The Swings are repaired, thank you Pietro

Parents and children preparing the orchard

Planting the seeds for vegetables

Objectives Remaining To Achieve

- Continue the Learn Create and Share Program
- Get a computer and internet connection for the children in order to share more work and communicate.
- leave at least 5 cameras with the school teacher for the children to continue their work.
- Build a small library in the school
- have a social worker visit at least once a month that can educate the children on their rights and encourage them to verbalize the issues.
- monitor the progress of the Orchard program.
- Set up an exhibition of the photos taken by the children.
- Create a fund to help single minor mothers victims of rape and sexual abuse.
- Educate girls on their rights and to break the cycle of abuse and reduce the risks of prostitution.

All the children of the world have the same right to be heard and achieve their dreams

My conclusions and thoughts:

In a paradise like setting in the jungle of Peru there are children full of hope, smiles, affection and dreams just like any other children all around the globe. They are materially very poor, no doubt, but their hearts are full of dreams and love.
Puerto Maldonado is a city decimated by strikes, delinquency, prostitution, direct consequence of the gold rush in Madre De Dios.
One can feel the hostility in the air. An anarchy like atmosphere. Illegal strikes, armed mining workers, violent demonstrations forcing stores and markets to shut down.
The illegal gold mining and the ever increasing price of gold is a disaster not only for the environment but also for the children and the population.
Single mothers of all ages seeking income as prostitutes. An infernal vicious circle that needs to be broken.
Schools with less than the bare minimum to be able to teach a basic education, with overwhelmed teachers having to play the role of director, mother, social worker, psychologist and environmentalist.

These children might not be war refugees, but in many ways they are. They are the forgotten victims and figures of resiliency of a different kind of war: the quest for gold at any cost.

It is incumbent on us, NGO’s, government, parents and human beings to brake the cycle of poverty and lack of education that brings about social chaos in a land where children’s dreams and lives are chattered.

A sustainable education program is a large part of the answer.
We have reached the hearts of families and given some hope to the children of Florida Baja.
Parents came running to build the school orchard, swings, and to thank us for being there.
The project and the results obtained in Florida Baja puts the emphasis on how valuable a Learn Create and Share education model is in not only educating the children and families but also in educating us by collecting anthropological and true data from the field, allowing us to identify directly the issues and needs, as opposed to relying on outdated statistic sheets. I say outdated because by the time these stats are collected and programs are developed, the picture and issues have changed or evolved.
In a country as diverse as Peru, lit is crucial to adapt a creative education program to each area and ethnic group according to their language, values, culture and specific needs. An at large program can not work.

Our Learn Create and Share education model has proven its efficiency in Ruka and now the jungle of Florida Baja.
Children learn, create and share their lives, issues and values in many forms of story telling.

In order for the program to continue and to reach our objectives, we need the help of everyone.
You can support our programs by sponsoring, or simply donating what you can by clicking on the DONATE button at the top right of the page.

Thank you.

Daniel Malka, Lima, Peru.

Many thanks to Joaquin Leguia from ANIA, Ysabel, Segundo, the children and parents of Florida Baja.
My gratitude goes to my childhood friend Pietro Micheletti for all his support and coming to share another chapter of my life.

© Copyright on all texts and photos, Daniel Malka, All Rights Reserved.

“PHOTOGRAPHY” ITS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT LOVE

Aside

Oh yes, I remember,

receiving a 25000$ fee for a photo of a pretty lady sitting in a Rolls Royce: a one page ad for a Rolls Royce limited edition Agenda, without counting another 40000$ in production costs.
An 8×10 camera portrait with my special lens. I’m the image maker, the dream seller, the ad agency’s problem solver, getting paid for my experience, my vision, what I know, as Boris would say.
I was lucky, it all came to me so easily. The camera has always been my toy, I make everything look great, elegant, sophisticated. The fun part: telling a story playing with light on a blank canvas.
It was always about love, the money and awards just came along.

So, from Madrid to Paris, Toronto, New York, Chicago….more clients, more ads, more dream selling, more money. Being flown here and there, business class, five star hotels, nice, all that, to sell fiction, dreams.

A few years later, destiny took me on a journey in the Sahara desert.

Point zero, as I call it: planted in the middle of the dunes, no one around except for the sky above. As much in touch with mother earth as on can be.
The great discovery for me, the nomads and their infinite values and faith,the perfect marriage between humanism and untouched nature: “Peace”
“VOYAGE” is a photography book about this journey into beauty, peace and unconditional human values.
I understood that true wealth comes from within, from the heart, from the soul: the nomad kids told me the story through their eyes.
Materially, they are very poor, but as human beings they are so rich, that they will share with you their bread and tea.

For years I wandered, what could I share with them?

A few years later, I was in Mexico. In the mountains of Oaxaca, I was greeted the same way. The Mixes shared all they had with me. Their home and food.
“EN LA SOMBRA DEL TIEMPO” is a photo documentary inspired and, about love. Another journey into human values, beauty, peace, friendship and nature.

Another stepping stone for what was to come, as I was asked to please come back and teach photography in a social center for children in the mountains of Oaxaca.
.
From the Sahara desert to Mexico, my life had changed drastically.
It was no longer about awards and selling dreams, it became about the true rewards and sorrows of life’s reality.
It became about documenting and sharing the reality that I had discovered: the beauty of human values and nature, and the drama of material poverty, injustice and the lack of education.

Again, I sat and wandered what I could share with them and how?
Two years later, the answer came to me.
The best I knew was photography. I was fortunate enough to have been educated, being a good lecturer, and learned the hard way that the white picket fence syndrome is often a false illusion of wealth and happiness.
Behind too many white picket fences of our cities hide dramas affecting many children of our so called modern society. The loss of family values, unity and sense of humanism.
What I had seen in the eyes of the Nomads, their children, the Mixes was the simple essence of life: survival by helping each other out, peace and faith in life. Children happy playing with stones and making toy animals from palm tree leaves.

The answer became The Daniel Malka Photo project.

Bringing photography and a basic creative education to these kids and have them tell us the story.
And so they did, just as well as I had. I brought them self-value, smiles, cameras and my love for what I do and for life, they answered with vision, talent, an opened mind and expressed what they couldn’t verbalize.

The “HOW THEY SEE” mission is a simple model, that if we give a child an opportunity, if we believe in him, he will turn it into gold with respect and admiration.
I have no words to describe the joy of these children and the way they spread it through their community.
So many people I have met on my journey have asked me to take them to Ruka. Ruka was brought to them by the kids.

Well, there are many Rukas in Peru in Mexico and in many corners of the world.

As I remember, 25000$ for a couple of days of work to shoot a photograph selling a dream, I also remember coming to Peru with way much less than that for the love of photography and my belief that these childrens work and photographs of reality would make people dream and help them improve their nutrition and living conditions by simply giving what they spend on a movie.

Yes, 25000$, a five star hotel and a business class ticket to shoot a staged photograph to promote a brand.

Yes, 1000$ collected, many promises, 24 beds in 28 weeks, no star hostels, economy class, 7 months of pre-production and 8 months of production including, travel, shooting,teaching, editing, meetings, networking, trekking, website updating and collecting funds for the biggest ad campaign of my life: “HOW THEY SEE”
This time I am selling reality, the happiness of the children of Ruka, Peru, and two more projects to come.

Its quite absurd to think that i got paid 25000$ for a couple of days of work to produce one staged photograph, and that I only collected $1000 for a years work, hundreds of photographs of reality and a humanitarian mission.

So, here I am sharing with you the reality viewed through the eyes of 30 years of love for photography mixed with the desire to create a small change for the better.
From the Sahara desert, through the mountains of Peru, to the streets of Lima, I am sharing with you my vision, my work, my stories, my life, my dreams, It’s always been about love.

The dream I’m selling this time is the simple reality, that bringing some love, cameras, smiles and education to the children of Ruka has made a small change in their lives.

This time, I’m not asking for donations and compliments, I’m asking from all of you to purchase fine art prints from a quite large selection.

Help me carry on with my mission, all funds will go towards the Ruka Bio greenhouse and to finance more projects.

In the end, It’s always about love.

Thank you!

Daniel Malka

Lima, Peru, May 16, 2013

 
© copyright daniel malka, all rights reserved on all texts and photographs. Any reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited.
 

“LIMA STORIES” GALLERY

 
 
RUKA PERU “EN LA LUZ DEL TIEMPO” PHOTO GALLERY
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved

 
 

PERU PHOTO GALLERY
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved

 
 

PUCUSANA PERU GALLERY


 
 
MAROC VOYAGE GALLERY
Malka Sheltering Sky
 
 
DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE GALLERY
Dance Me To The End Of Love Malka

THE STORY OF RUKA BY THE CHILDREN

These are the Photos taken by children aged 5 to 14 years who had never seen a camera.
They deserve our recognition not only as photographers but as human beings.
Help me build them they’re well deserved monument of hope. Contribute whatever you can, but please do and share this post. Thanks!

YOUR CONTRIBUTION You can contribute with your credit card through PayPal


 

You can also do it directly by Bank Transfer to DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC. Non Profit Corporation Registered under Canadian Federal Laws and Quebec Provincial Laws
RBC Banque Royale 5701 Avenue Monkland Montreal QC H4A 1E7
DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC.
Att: Luna Malka
SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN
MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1
Code Banque/ Bank (RBC) : 003 Code succursale (Transit) : 03901 Numero de compte/ Account Number : 1005073 Swift Code : R O Y C C A T 2
 
FOR ANY OTHER TYPE OF CONTRIBUTION OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
contact@malkaphotoproject.org

I asked the kids to tell me a story about Ruka, about their lives

I gave them a few lectures, a few tricks and they composed, framed and shot what they saw, their lives and world.
No fancy cameras, no rules of thirds, no rules at all, pure and simple story telling and creative instinct.

The true magic and beauty of photography and creative thinking
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
FOTO FERNANDO 12 YEARS OLD
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
FOTO DE ABRAHAM 8 anos / 8 years old
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
FOTO: OSCAR 10 anos/ 10 years old
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
PORTRAIT OF HIS BROTHER BY JOSE 12 years old / 12 anos
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved “HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved “HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved “HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved “HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 
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“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 
Malka_Jose-Feet
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Malka_Jose-MyDoor
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Malka_Jose-Room
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Malka_Portrait
“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA ANDES PERU,© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved
 
 

MalkaJose_Porter
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THE LITTLE HEROES FROM RUKA, PERU by DANIEL MALKA

Aside

© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved

 
 

I came to Ruka, Peru 5 months ago to teach story telling photography to the children of this community in the Andes that does not even appear on Google Map.

Some of the objectives of The Daniel Malka Photo Project:
- Teach them story telling, basic techniques in photography
- Identify the problems and most important needs of the children and the community.
- Give the children some creative tools, a basic education, make them aware of their environment, culture, share with them my passion for photography, so they can share their vision with the rest of the world.

The little heroes from Ruka have gained my heart and soul with their talent, resilience, hard work, determination, respect, friendship and love for photography.

Ruka, the Andes it’s people, the kids have made feel an attachment to this earth, and a form of happiness that is not linked to what we posses but rather to what we can offer. As they say in the Andes, the mountain gives everything. True, I have sat on a giant stone in Ruka, day after day, watching it’s people smile as they went on with their daily tasks. They maintain their culture, a healthy community spirit, and that infinite connection with the land, thus our earth, and that in itself is a form of happiness that our industrialized world has somewhat lost.

The little heroes from Ruka are up at dawn, by 5:30 am they walk the animals, by 6 am they start their 2 hour walk to school.
The living conditions at 3500 meters altitude are hard. It’s cold and rainy for months. The only access is through a 2 km very narrow trail with ravines on its side. The kids run to school and walk back, up the same trail.
By 3 pm they are at my door for their photography classes.

I lived in Ruka for a while. Coming from Canada, a country where the winter lasts many months and temperatures are way below zero, I thought I knew what cold was. But there is heating in the houses.
In Ruka, the houses are as cold as the outside. The only source of heating is when they cook. There is no running water and electricity is very rudimentary.

The main problem of the little heroes from Ruka is severe malnutrition: lack of vitamins, protein, fats, calcium causing developmental problems from generation to generation. Their diet consists of what the earth is willing to produce at that altitude and climate: potatoes and some corn.

I made a commitment to help these children, I have spent every penny I owned to be in Peru and teach these kids what I know best, what I taught my own talented daughter. It’s been as difficult as gratifying.
I have learned from them the richness of their culture and infinite sense of humanism.
I made another commitment, simpler and sustainable in time. Building these children a Bio_Greenhouse that will allow them to grow some fruit, vegetables and some protein.
The children of Ruka are smart, creative and hard working. They will run the greenhouse successfully.
The example to their community and others as well is that education gives positive results.
In the same creative line of thinking, they will decorate it and document the whole process.
It will be an example and model that can help other communities without changing their culture, way of life and most of all respect our fragile environment.

I am calling upon everyone to help me help the little heroes from Ruka by showing them that their work is worthy and they are not forgotten by the rest of us.
We all have the ability to throw in a couple of bucks to improve the development and nutrition of these children.
The cost o the greenhouse including materials, seeds, implementation, transport, and the education of the kids is $5000.00.
 
You can contribute through PayPal System

 

You can also do it directly by Bank Transfer to DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC. Non Profit Corporation Registered under Canadian Federal Laws and Quebec Provincial Laws
RBC Banque Royale 5701 Avenue Monkland Montreal QC H4A 1E7
DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC.
Att: Luna Malka
SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN
MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1
Code Banque/ Bank (RBC) : 003 Code succursale
(Transit) : 03901 Numero de compte/ Account Number : 1005073
Swift Code : R O Y C C A T 2
 

By cheque for US and Canada only:
DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC.
Att: Luna Malka
SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN
MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1
 
FOR ANY OTHER TYPE OF CONTRIBUTION, SPONSORSHIP OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
contact@malkaphotoproject.org

The following photographs are my tribute to the little heroes from Ruka.
 

© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 

© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 
 
 
MALKA_PORTRAIT10
 
 
 
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Thank You

The children from Ruka
Daniel Malka

The Andes, February 17th, 2013

ONE YEAR OF THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, THE GREENHOUSE

Aside

© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013, Daniel Malka, all rights reserved, Ruka, Peru January 14th, 2013
 
 

Montreal January 26 th 2012

Behind the frosted windows of Shaika cafe, where I hung out, day after day, working on the “Dance Me To The End Of…Love” series, and other photographs, the core idea of the project was born. Crazy I thought, but I loved it.

The inspiration was simple: the sum of my life, thoughts, beliefs, scars, joys, losses, travels, vision, fatherhood, childhood, tears, laughs, photography, my daughters talent, and love.

I called my most pragmatic friend and lawyer, and asked her what she thought. As she put it: the craziest, yet the best idea you’ve ever had.
I called upon a few friends to help out in this new chapter of my life.
Many joined, many promised to join, very few stayed and supported for months the preparation of “HOW THEY SEE” in Peru.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart. No need for names here, they know who they are.

Well, its been quite a journey.

I worked day in and day out, structuring, discovering, thinking, networking, writing letters, requests, explaining. Very few believed, trusted that the little frail man smoking a pack a day and drinking 15 cups of coffee could make it.
I had no fears in that sense, I always believed that doing something that you love, is as much of a good reason to live that it is to die.

On February 26th 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT was born.
In less than ten months, there were 10,000 unique visitors to the website.

On March 11th 2012, we launched the project with a one night photo exhibition at Shaika’s.
It was hard work from all my friends that helped with all their heart.
We raised that night, $258.70 and many promises to buy prints. It was funny, I had spent over $400 in prints, plus all of what my colleagues spent.

I needed 5000$ for a 3 month mission in Peru, including the expenses of the legal paper work for the incorporation of the non-profit.

So I walked up and down NDG, day after day, listening to The National, and as they say in one of their songs, having secret meetings in the basement of my brain.
How could I do this? I had made a commitment to go and help these kids from Ruka. I kept looking at the photos of the kids from Ruka, that were sent to me by Alex and Ivan.

I slept a few hours every night, I woke up at 5 or 5:30 am and went for my half hour walk, cold or no cold, I had to get in shape if I wanted to help these kids.
By 5:30 or 6 am I would stop by Cosmos. Nikki would wait for me with that hot cup of coffee and her “So Daniel, how’s the project going?” and the philosophical and humanitarian conversation would start until 7, when the first customers would pop in for their breakfast. Nikki and Rose became my true family. I miss them dearly. They fed me day after day, emotionally as much as with the best breakfast in town. Nikki didn’t want to charge me. It was her contribution to the project, she said.

Then off to Shaika or Mate Latte, where the lap top went on until the place closed down.

When I discussed my project with a colleague at Dawson school of photography, I was told, what an ambitious project Daniel. Of course its ambitious, so is photography I thought. Then again, anything seems ambitious to people teaching the same classes for 20 years and collecting the tax payers money through our education system. With all due respect, of course.

By July, I understood that apart my former students who gave me as many point and shoot cameras as they could, if I didn’t finance this myself, I could never help these kids. At the last minute, I managed to sell a couple of family items of some value and my flashes. I left a few things in storage, some furniture with my daughter, and I ran to buy my plane ticket. With a back sac with 15 point and shoot cameras including mine, an another full of clothes, hope and all my friends and daughters support, I left for Peru. I had the same money to buy a 10 day vacation in a decent Mexican resort. A sum an average Canadian spends for two on an average one week winter vacation.
 
 
The Andes, February 8th, 2013.

© copyright 2013 Fernando, The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved, THE PORTRAIT CLASS
© copyright 2013 Fernando, The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved, THE PORTRAIT CLASS
 

Four and a half months in Peru, I am sitting at a table in the small eating area of the hostal where I’m staying now. Yes, still smoking and drinking coffee, and no I haven’t gained weight, as everyone asks. But I’m trying. And yes, still having secret meetings in the basement of my brain in order to find ways to help these kids.
I’m living on 16$ per day, taking a few cold showers a week, trying to stretch everything I have to build a greenhouse for the kids from Ruka, my second and biggest commitment.

My hard drives full of over 5000 photos, my multiple journeys to Ruka, a few kilometers of treks in the Andes, a bigger heart than ever, my eyes teary at times , I have given some joy and hope to these talented kids. They have learned and taught us what resilience is, and expressed it through the lens of their hearts.
So yes, I followed my first commitment and it was a success. TV interviews in Lima and Cusco, the cover of the national newspaper, exhibition proposals…

ITS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

As I keep telling people, thanks for all the compliments, but this is not about me.
I am only a messenger between these little forgotten heroes and the rest of the world.
I am transmitting their courage, talent, hard living conditions and serious malnutrition problems. They suffer from developmental problems. Of course they are happy, they smile, they are respectful, they come running to me to borrow cameras, they love the power and magic of photographs. They are creative and very resilent but they deserve to eat and grow normally as much as my own daughter did.
At high altitude only potatoes and corn grow. Most families can’t even afford oil. There is no milk, eggs, meat, fish, chicken or butter in their diets.
They might eat a can of tuna fish occasionally.
There are hundreds of Rukas in Peru. From the Andes to the jungle. The higher in altitude the less they have. In Puno at 4500 meters, 100 children died of cold last winter. Malnutrition is a killer and worse, it impairs children for generations.

© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved
 

I am not trying to change the world, all i am trying to do is build a small greenhouse in Ruka.
A 60 square meter greenhouse managed by these 20 kids will give them access to fruit and vegetable as well as a bit of protein independently of the cold temperatures.
It will be a small pilot greenhouse. The cost will be 5000$ including the education of the kids.
The price includes the plans, materials, seeds, transport 2 km up the mountain with no road access. The labour will be thrown in by the men and women of Ruka. The idea is to show the municipalities that the program is viable. It is, as I will make sure to be there myself with a friend engineer and make sure all is running properly,
The young photographers will document the whole process.
We will then present the document and ask for more help to build a bigger greenhouse and so on and so forth.
 
THE STOMACH OF UNDERNUTRITION, EL ESTOMAGO  DE MALNUTRICION.<br />
© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved.
THE STOMACH OF UNDERNUTRITION, EL ESTOMAGO DE MALNUTRICION.
© Copyright 2013 Daniel Malka, all rights reserved.
 

I am calling upon everyone, to open their heart at every corner of this tiny planet and especially in Canada. I am asking and begging all my friends to copy and paste the link to this post to their walls, to email it to all the people they know, the same as Im doing.

The future of our planet belongs to the children of today, so its up to us to educate them and make a change.

WE CAN RAISE 5000$ for the kids and talented photographers from Ruka.

On behalf of all the children and myself, THANK YOU.

Daniel Malka
 
 

YOU CAN HELP US HELP THESE KIDS

You can contribute through PayPal System

 
 

You can also do it directly by Bank Transfer to DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC. Non Profit Corporation Registered under Canadian Federal Laws and Quebec Provincial Laws
RBC Banque Royale 5701 Avenue Monkland Montreal QC H4A 1E7
DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC.
Att: Luna Malka
SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN
MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1
Code Banque/ Bank (RBC) : 003 Code succursale
(Transit) : 03901 Numero de compte/ Account Number : 1005073
Swift Code : R O Y C C A T 2
 
 

By cheque for US and Canada only:
DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC.
Att: Luna Malka
SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN
MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1
 
 

FOR ANY OTHER TYPE OF CONTRIBUTION, SPONSORSHIP OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
contact@malkaphotoproject.org

ABOUT DANIEL MALKA AND THE HEROS FROM THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

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© Copyright 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, all rights reserved

ABOUT DANIEL MALKA and THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

I am so thankful for all the support and emails about my project in Ruka.
If I could get 2$ for all the compliments on my work and photos, the Greenhouse I would like to build for the children of Ruka would be started by now.

I am very touched by all the great words, really.
However this is not about me!

I started this project for the children of this world that do not have the opportunity to express how they feel or how they see. The reason, they are poor and forgotten.

The Daniel Malka Photo Project is not a photography school, it is another NGO trying to put in a grain of sand in the the social injustice that dominates our world.

All I am trying to do, is create a tool for these kids to work, smile, and get all the basic necessities they need and deserve.

I am as new to this as when I processed my first roll of film, full of dreams and waiting for the story to unfold.

I flew to Peru, walked to Ruka, lived like they do, ate what they ate, not because I am a good photographer or because I want to be a hero. I have enough photography awards to cover a wall, and my life has enough happy and dark stories to write a couple of more books.

I flew to Peru and walked to Ruka with 15 kilos of point and shoot cameras on my back, because I am above all a dad and a human being who believes that all the children deserve a chance to make a difference in the future of this fragile world.
I lived in the hard conditions they live in to show them that that we are all the same, that they are not forgotten, they have no Facebook to show you what they see and how they live.

I flew to Peru and walked to Ruka because I have access to Facebook, the internet and other civilized and not so civilized methods of communication.

I made a promise as a man, a dad, a photographer a scientist and above all a human being with empathy and compassion. My promise was to exchange how they see for the help of other human beings in getting them proper nutrition and give them at lest a chance to be a little bit like our own kids.

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT only carries my name because of ridiculous name registration constraints. It’s not about Daniel Malka photographer, It’s about all the Martas, Joses, Abrahams, Jesuses, Eliazars, Yersons, Renes, Oscars, Felicianos photographers who have done better with a 40$ camera than many of us with a 5000$ lens attached to a 5000$ body and many years of photography school.
They came running day after day, after walking one to two hours from school, to hear me, to beg me to use the cameras. They came at sunrise on week ends, after walking the donkeys, they came because I promised them that the other children of the world would know how the children of Ruka live and would see their Story.

So, as much as my colleagues get paid the big bucks to shoot a 100,000$ wedding or an advertising campaign, these kids deserve our help to be able to eat protein and vitamins once in a while for the work they have done with all their hearts, guts, courage and above all talent.

As a man walking around with a Canadian passport, I am a bit ashamed to say that the first donations came from Florida, Peru and other Latin American countries. The website stats show that 80% of the large traffic we get is from Canada. I am also a bit ashamed of all the camera stores in Montreal and Toronto where I spent many thousands of dollars could not supply a used point and shoot camera for the kids.

I hate and I am embarrassed to ask for money, but for these kids, after what I have seen, I could sit at a street corner with a hat and beg.

If we all give a buck or 2, we will at least make a difference for them and help them eat a normal meal and walk with shoes once in a while. They worked for it.

So, I flew to Peru and walked to Ruka to help these children and young photographers. I am only a man with a heart and a bunch of cameras.

So, if you want to help me in helping these kids, as photographers, human beings and citizens of this world, give a buck or two, and pass the word around.
After all, they are the heros.

THEY DESERVE IT !

YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO RUKA HERE You can contribute through PayPal System

You can also do it directly by Bank Transfer to DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC. Non Profit Corporation Registered under Canadian Federal Laws and Quebec Provincial Laws RBC Banque Royale 5701 Avenue Monkland Montreal QC H4A 1E7 DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT INC. Att: Luna Malka SUITE 202 460 RUE SAINT-JEAN MONTREAL QUEBEC H2Y2S1 Code Banque/ Bank (RBC) : 003 Code succursale (Transit) : 03901 Numero de compte/ Account Number : 1005073 Swift Code : R O Y C C A T 2 FOR ANY OTHER TYPE OF CONTRIBUTION OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT US AT: contact@malkaphotoproject.org

Thank you.

Daniel Malka

DANIEL MALKA INTERVIEWED ON “Chema A Las 10″ RPP, PERU

Aside

We have to all do our part to help children.
A basic education through photography, narration, culture, art, preserving values and the environment.
It can all be done through creative thinking..

I can’t find the words to thank enough the people helping the project, from Canada to Peru, Mexico, Lima and Cusco.
I thank Chema Salcedo, RPP radio and TV Peru, and all the produccion team for helping out in diffusing and helping us help the children.

I am truly overwhelmed by the kindness and commitment of the Peruvian people.
I am more than greatfull to all my friends in Lima and Cusco for all their help and for making me feel so much at home.

The children will thank you forever.

We still need digital cameras¡

Daniel Malka

Provincia de Cuzco, el 6 de Octubre 2012

Daniel Malka Photo Project Interview on RPP Peru

GETTING TO PERU

Aside

© 2012 daniel malka, all rights reserved

It’s been many days, many nights, many emotions, photographs, thoughts, steps and bumps on the road.

I was delayed, but everything happens for a reason.
During these times I discovered the true value of people, family, friends and love.

When you are about to leave on a long journey, you discover the fears and of others and realize that you have none.
Because in the end, life is only about what you believe in with all your heart and your eyes wide open..

Above all, I strenthened the beautiful bond between a daughter and a father. I thank the stars and the angels for that.

In the last months, the sad truth behind my last relationship also appeared. Nevertheless, the love that one offers unconditionally, comes back to him in infinite ways. We are the sum of what we give, not what we take.

As I wrote before, this project is inspired by the sum of my life’s experiences. It separated truth from lies, humanism from ego and selfishness, humility from arrogance, talent from vanity, true love from greed, loneliness from solitude and friendship from interest.

In the end it created bonds of friendship and compassion with unique people, that neither distance or time will ever affect.

So, I’ was delayed yes, but I’m more ready than ever to go on with my task and commitment.

I thank the stars, destiny, my parents, my friend Pietro, Laura, Mariana, Adriano, Yves, my daughter Luna, my new friend Mariana, my friends in Peru and Mexico, and so many other supporters for all their kind words, help, time and for believing in all of this.

I also need to thank Nicky and Rose from Cosmos for being my true family and so much more for the last year. May they be blessed and remain the beatiful people they are. I will miss them every day.

Six months ago I made a commitment.

I am in Peru, a country rich in kindness, compassion, culture and humanism.

The first week has been filled with meetings with contacts, running incredible projects helping children, photographers and friends.
We are all committed in helping and giving the tools and basic necessities to children and their communities in order to create a social improvement and positive change. I will try and do my part through photography.

If we all look in the same direction and do a small part, it will happen.

I am currently working on “HOW THEY SEE”, and at least one other project.

We need to raise $3000 in order to complete the water installation and get other necessities for the children of “HOW THEY SEE”.

If you would like to help with your contribution, please follow the link, donate in kind.

Thank you Peru for opening your arms and heart to our project.

Lima, Peru, October 1st, 2012

THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT IN FOCUS INTERVIEW

Aside

Based on an interview by Photo Life Magazine
You can read the full article in the June/July issue of Photo Life Magazine: www.photolife.com

After 20 years of experience in advertising, editorial and fine-art photography, what motivated Daniel Malka to switch his focus to creating and developing this project?

The first thing that comes to my mind is life and passion, the second is a sentence by Albert Camus “Despite appearances, my main occupation has always been love”.
In the last 6 years, my focus has been more on personal projects focused on my humble humanistic approach to aesthetics and social environment.
This new trajectory was set by my first project called VOYAGE, an internal as well as an external analysis one on our basic human values, through a journey in the Moroccan Sahara.
En La Sombra Del Tiempo, in Mexico, is inspired by a love story and the theory that everything hit by light projects a shadow, even time.
A journey through a multicultural, often hidden and forgotten Mexico struggling against corruption and using as their main weapon their sense of culture, kindness and humanism.
My last and ongoing project Dance Me To The End Of Love, is a document, a story of my daily life and vision of close surroundings shot with an old iPhone, in order for the imperfections, colors and style to symbolize a roller coaster of daily emotions and a journey through memories, grief and healing.

The Project is the sum of my life experiences as a photographer, a humanist, a father and a professor

The presence of millions of images on the web, is diluting the ability of creative thinking, the sense of aesthetics and story telling of the next generation. I believe that technology should remain a means to communicate and not a goal. Communication and creativity in the human sense of the word, are key to our survival and well being as compassionate human beings.

My experience as a father, has taught me that by encouraging creative thinking, it opened the doors not only to creativity, but to analysis, aesthetics and understanding in all fields ranging from science to music and art.
My experience as a photography professor to adult students, has opened my eyes on how much resistance can be encountered to a creative process and how thick the walls of the box built by our often outdated education system can be.
Finally, my experience as a man, has taught me that not all that is under the sun, shines.

I am not politically inclined, but I believe naively in social justice, freedom and equality not only between human beings, but all living beings.

I decided to play a part, as small as it may be in creating a small social change, by helping children develop creative thinking and story telling through photography, learn new skills, build a network with no language barriers, and bring awareness from their point on their condition.

The project was developed to teach photography to youth between the ages of seven and fifteen, a critical stage of development, since these children are most at risk of abuse, injustice and poverty. Bringing global awareness from their point of view will also help various NGO’s and encourage private, corporate donors to help these children.


2.What is the most important goal of the project?

It is quite difficult to tag only one single goal as being the most important. It is a complex combination of inter-related elements.
However if I had to pick one, I would say, give all the children of the world an equal right to speech, self-expression that will bring them global notice and get them help through various channels, in in getting education, medical care, food, water, clothing, as well as creating a community of young photographers and story tellers around the globe.

3.How do you choose which local community groups, organizations and NGOs to collaborate with? Can you give an example of how your collaboration with local groups works?

The NGO’s and communities are chosen through referrals, personal contacts and interviews. They are mostly small grass root NGO’s with very low administrative costs, which allows them to distribute the maximum funds possible to the groups they help.
We also look at the type of work they do, and their closeness to the communities we want to work with. We all share the same goal; help children.
For our first project in Peru, we have connected through personal references, people on the ground that have already distributed help to communities in Peru. We based our mission on the needs of these communities that are at every humanistic level. It’s the “How They See” project.


3.How do you choose which local community groups, organizations and NGOs to collaborate with? Can you give an example of how your collaboration with local groups works?

The NGO’s and communities are chosen through referrals, personal contacts and interviews. They are mostly small grass root NGO’s with very low administrative costs, which allows them to distribute the maximum funds possible to the groups they help.
We also look at the type of work they do, and their closeness to the communities we want to work with. We all share the same goal, to help children
For our first project in Peru, we have connected through personal references, people on the ground that have already distributed help to communities in Peru. We based our mission on the needs of these communities that are at every humanistic level. It’s the “How They See” project. The contact is made directly with the community’s leader and the program is explained to the parents. Once on the ground, we meet with the groups for our first direct brief of the program. The parents help, collaboration and contribution is essential.


4.Are representatives from the Daniel Malka Photo Project on the ground at each location to teach/work/etc? Or do they train the local instructors without contact with the children?

Photographers from the countries of origin are recruited on a screening of skills, portfolio, experience, ability to communicate, work with children, experience and rules of ethics.
Daniel Malka trains them on the ground through the whole program, while he is working with the groups. He believes it’s the best way to train participating photographers in order to continue the work in the country and in turn train other photographers wanting a social change.


5.What do you hope to achieve through the exhibitions of the young photographers’ work? Where will the exhibitions be?

The young photographers work will be exhibited in in participating galleries, in their respective countries and around the globe. It will also be exhibited online.
NGO’s participation will be crucial in this process, as the work will help all humanitarian groups helping children globally.
It will help us join our efforts in raising funds by showing the reality that surrounds these children from their point of view.


6.The website mentions income being re-directed back to the communities. Where does this income come from?

The income will come from private, corporate donations, sponsorships and foundations. It will also come from licensing photos, books, as well as Daniel Malka’s current and passed work sales that go entirely to the project since January 2012. Moreover, photo licensing funds will go to the young photographer and family.

7.What kind of response have you had to the initiative (from the youth and local communities, but also from international communities)?

Although the program is very young, the interest shown has been overwhelming at times. We are currently developing contacts in Canada with social workers in order to help various groups of children. We are as active as we can in promoting the project through word of mouth, social networking and interviews like this one. We currently have contacts and open doors in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Kenya, Cameroon, Burundi, Columbia, Spain, Romania and the list is constantly growing. The Project has been very well received in Peru for example by the community leaders and parents of the How They See project.

8.Have there been any surprises or particular challenges encountered in developing the program?

So far the biggest challenge has been raising funds. Having said that, our launch show from March 11 th, online galleries has generated some funds from private donations and Fine Art Photo Sales. It’s only a question of time. The response so far is good and we are currently waiting for answers from various sponsorship requests. Daniel Malka is basically financing the How They See project from his own funds.

Although we are well prepared and structured, we certainly will encounter challenges on the ground, but like any operation or photo production, we are ready to solve issues as they appear.
We are still in the process of building this operation, as any other humanitarian group has told us, it’s not easy, but then again what is.
So far the hard work and dedication of the volunteer team has made everything fall into place. We are confident of the success of the project.


9.What are your goals for the future of the program?

Bring global awareness from the childrens point of view on their condition and environment, in order to help them and enable them to create a social change for them as well as their communities, respecting their cultural identity.
Encourage creative thinking and vision as a form of free expression, education and aesthetics.
Create a network of young photographers documenting from all corners of the globe, their issues, use the power of imagery and new media in order to inform us, from within, on abuse, injustice and poverty.
Unite children in one voice and vision with no language barriers, in order to bring some change and remind us of our basic human values and that we are all responsible, because we can all help one way or another.

Encourage creative thinking and humanitarian actions by the photographers joining us in educating the children and developing the program.

10. How can our readers help support this project? Are there particular guidelines about the types of cameras, memory cards or laptops that you accept? Do you use volunteers for anything ?

All digital cameras are welcome, from point and shoot to to DSLRs. Memory cards, SD or Flash from 1G and up. Laptops,PC or Macs that are able to run Lightroom or Bridge.
We are looking for photographers based in Cameroon, volunteers with NGO experience social networking experts and Fund Raising consultants.
General Volunteers can also send their resume.

USEFUL LINKS TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT:

All the latest info can be found on our website and our Facebook Page
We will need photographers interested in humanitarian missions in the following countries: Mexico, Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Spain, and all provinces in Canada, as new projects emerge constantly.
Please send your resumes trough our Careers Link

To contribute Cameras, funds, or become a friend, sponsorships

Our Current HOW THEY SEE fund raising campaign

For all other detailed information including Universities, NGO’s, Foundations and Press communications
Please contact Laura Carli: lcarli@malkaphotoproject.org

Finally I want to thank all the people, friends and my dear team mates for making all this possible.
Special Thanks to Jenny and Photo Life Magazine.

DANIEL MALKA INTERVIEWED ON PHOTOGRAPHY

EXCERPTS FROMTHE ARTICLE BY THE NDG RACOON

Daniel Malka: professional photographer

For Daniel, photography is a way of life. He instructs his students to dream, sleep, and breathe photography. He considers it the most powerful storytelling device ever created.
“No wonder there is a belief that certain cultures think that a photograph steals a piece of your soul. In a way it’s true. You can immortalize an instant of someone’s life, and that, to me, seems to be the same thing. And with today’s technology, you can get that story out there in seconds.”
Being a freelancer all his life hasn’t been easy. However, photography has allowed him to live, and has elevated him in his darkest moments. It has been his most faithful companion (besides his dog Mona). Daniel has gotten paid substantially to play with what he refers as his “toys,” though he has never technically considered his art to be “work.”
“My first paying photos were for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens.
I was studying Science at the time, working part-time selling cameras…man, every penny I made went back into photography.
I fell in love with the power of telling a story in a fraction of a second, immortalizing time.”
He has taken award-winning photos on two continents, and has had them published on three. His most lucrative ventures have been during contracts for ad agencies, but what he loves most is being spending time with the people.

“I’ve met so many outstanding people through photography. It gives you the ability to connect with your surroundings in a very unique way. And because, as I always say, an image never lies, you know right away who is the good guy and who is the scum bag when you look through the view finder.”
Although I interrupt here to mention various visual deceptions perpetrated by the media, Daniel promptly corrects me. He is not referring to image manipulation. He is talking about photography in its purest form.
“It’s a tool that tells the truth, and should be used to share the beauty in this world whenever and wherever you find it. No, I am no surgeon. I use the tool bluntly and honestly to expose the good and the bad. I am even more passionate today than when I was a teenager. Some people hate me for it, but quite frankly I don’t care, because the ones that do are usually mediocre, maybe not always technically, but in relation to revealing raw emotion. I don’t believe in life without passion. It’s like making love by appointment.”

Daniel loves everything that has to do with photography. Teaching it has been an enlightening element in his life; sharing all of his knowledge and inspiring others is the most gratifying experience as he gets to witness people growing into photographers with his guidance.

“Photography is no different than life. There are decisive moments where you have to choose where you want to go, just like the instant when you decide to press that shutter button. I try to find the passion in my students as well as help develop their creative instincts. Photography is about people, passion, love, simplicity, humanism, and freedom of expression. Most of all, it’s about freedom itself. The professional aspect is a bonus.”

The Daniel Malka Photo Project

“The Daniel Malka Photo Project is the sum of all my experiences, emotions, and greatest beliefs about humanity’s capacity for love, compassion and sharing. Before becoming a photographer, I wanted to be a pediatrician. Children are natural fighters. They have a pure, untamed vision of their surroundings. They love and trust unconditionally…that is until they are hurt, of course. Kids are the most vulnerable in any society, and should be protected from anyone who uses them to satisfy greed or obtain power.

“The project is challenging in the sense that it is addressed to children from ages 7 to 15. We’d like to begin them at 5, but we’ll have to see about the logistics of that. The kids involved will be diverse. From the hidden and forgotten indigenous people of Latin America to the child soldiers in Africa, we want to give them all the tools to document their experiences from the inside out as opposed than the outside in. I believe that helping develop creativity in these kids would give rise to positive critical thinking skills. Also, they will have a tool to be more sensitive, united, and be seen by the rest of the world. Greater exposure would minimize their roles as targets of injustice, war, and delinquency.

“The project will stay alive thanks to photographers who will get on-site training to continue the project. Our team of photographic journalists wants to help change these children’s lives by providing their voices a visual forum. We’re all volunteers who have agreed that every penny raised must be spent directly on the kids.
“The idea is to teach photography, and to design specific assignments based on their needs and problems. They will document and photograph their lives and gain exposure in galleries around the world, and online. This should generate more awareness about the often overlooked conditions of these children, and generate more support for all NGOs. Of course there is a lot to do in Canada as well, and our team will start work here soon.