“LEARN, CREATE AND SHARE” by THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

When I started this project, I was told it was quite crazy and ambitious. When I completed the third successful project with the burnt children of Aniquem and the third exhibition in 2 years I was asked by my Honorable … Continue reading

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.

“HOW THEY SEE” RUKA, PERU

© Copyright 2012 The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved

From NDG, Montreal, Canada to Ruka, Cusco, Peru

Seven months ago, started the belief and dream that children could express the vision of their “world” through the story telling force of photography.
It was -20 degrees, the frost on the windows was dancing to the rhythm of the early night lights. I sat at Shaika Cafe, 10 to 12 hours a day working on my own photographs and the dream to help poor children by sharing my magical journey as a photographer, giving them the opportunity to work, voice and improve their life conditions through creative expression.

Crazy I thought, ambitious some said, impossible others told, with what money many questioned. My answer, I don’t know. All I knew was that if we all did a little to help, there would be a social change for the better.

At the beginning, I had the support of the most important person of my life, my daughter Luna. I explained that I had the dream to give all the children that I didn’t have, what I had given her.

With the help of my dear friends and former students, The Daniel Malka Photo Project was born.

Very few funds were raised in Canada. I quickly understood that I had to finance the first mission.

Destiny pointed to Peru.

My former students and other friends, found digital point and shoot cameras, helped me structure the NGO. Niki and Rose from Cosmos fed me. Reisa prepared the paper work.

I continued on my path. I had made a commitment, I would respect it at any cost.

I went on walking and shooting from sunrise. I stopped at Niki’s at 6 am to have coffee and our philosophical and spritual conversations. She and Rose pushed me, encouraged me, believed in the project as much as I did.

As Dr. Stan said, go to 5000m altitude if you want to, as long as you do what you love in a place where people love you, you will be more than fine.

Thank you Dr. Stan not only for saving my life but also for your kind and truthful words.

Thank you photography for being once again my most faithful life companion.

So, from Dance Me To The End Of Love, to Alone Together, from NDG to Ruka, the children thank all the ones that supported the project and I also thank destiny and all the ones that fueled it with their disbelief as well as the ones that shot at my feet. Here are some photos of my class of : “HOW THEY SEE”

I am still editing the children’s material.
If you would like to encourage these kids that need warm clothing, medication, shoes, books and to open up to traffic the 2 km trail that climbs to Ruka (3500 meters) in order for supplies to get to them and make less dangerous their 2 hour walk to school every day, please get in touch with us at contact@malkaphotoproject.org

My deepest thanks to these children, parents and community for greeting me like a member of their family.
They shared their food, smiles, hardships, values, culture, friendship, culture and homes with me, day after day.
The living conditions are hard. The cold is such that the hard drives wont function. The diet consists of potatoes, a bit of rice, noodles and Ayuco. Eating meat is a luxury, and it happens rarely. There is no running water.

The children wear cotton hoodies and sandals at close to zero temperatures. Most of them have colds.
Never the less, they smile, never complain and are starving to learn.
On Saturday mornings they would show up at my door at 6 am. Can we start shooting? they would ask.

I have been more then overwhelmed by their smiles, enthousiasm, their passion for the camera and their creative sense.

They are telling us the story of what, where and how Ruka is, their home, their friends, their animals, their family and how they see.

The results: you don’t need a $10,000 camera and a degree to express what you see from the heart, the guts and the soul.

These children have enlightened my life, I thank them on behalf of all of us who share the passion for photography.

Daniel Malka, Cusco Province, October 23rd, 2012

photo by Yerson, 5 years old

Photo de Jose, 12 years old

 

 

Photo de Jose, 12 years old © Copyright 2012 The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved

Oscar 8 years old © Copyright 2012 The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved


Portrait of sisters by Jose 12 yrs old © Copyright 2012 The Daniel Malka Photo Project, all rights reserved

© COPYRIGHT 2012, THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART OF ALL MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT ANY PERMISSION IN WRITING.

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