Founders Paul Lynch and Ryan Plakonouris met up for ten days with two WorldPix charities in South Africa last week.
Both charities: Khaya Center and Door of Hope are known for helping children who are displaced, suffering from diseases (both physical and mental), and poor.
The trip took place with the intention of gaining updates, giving donations and taking photographs of the impact WorldPix is having on these organizations. Ryan and Paul were in awe of the amazing, charitable work these organizations are doing to help these children.
They were able to capture a few impactful moments through the lenses of their cameras:
The results of visiting these causes greatly impacted Ryan and Paul. From the sheer joy of the children dancing (like in the video below) to the impact the donation makes by helping feed, educate and clothe the children – emotions were high.
The visit to Khaya Centre held a particularly emotional story – and it all started with the gift of a photograph.
Khaya Center – Helping Abused, Poor, and Starving Children Overcome
When Paul and Ryan visited Khaya Centre outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. They were blown away by the work Khaya is doing in the community of Lehae. Khaya Centre feeds, serves and cares for almost 1,200 children per day in this community.
Khaya also manages a trauma response team for girls that have been raped. The managing director of Khaya took Ryan and Paul to a small but pleasant room and told them a touching story of how they bring young girls to this room after they’ve been through traumatic experiences including abuse or rape.
When the abused girls (usually less than 16) arrive at Khaya, the staff doesn’t ask any questions or push the girls to give them details. They merely tell them that everything is ok now – they are safe and loved. They take them to the “Trauma Room” and slowly help them re-center.
After a period of time they leave the room, never to return. Most of these girls then begin therapy at Khaya centre and start the slow process of healing. However, they will never return to the trauma room.
This is a big deal to the directors of Khaya as they described to Paul and Ryan that the incident that occurred was one moment in their life, it does not define them as women, and they will never return to this pain again. They have overcome.
The Power of a Photograph To Help Overcome Trauma
One of our WorldPix traditions is to give a photo to each cause we visit. On our visit to Khaya Centre this week we donated a beautiful print from world-renowned astrophotographer, Wayne Pinkston.
When the leaders of Khaya saw the image they immediately said they wanted it to go in their Trauma room as it matched the theme of calm and tranquility they were trying to create for the abused girls.
After the heart-wrenching stories they had told us about the trauma room we were speechless that they would hang Wayne’s photo in this important room. Then again, it felt right. We helped them hang the photo on the wall in front of huge teddy bear and it was hard for both Paul and Ryan to suppress their tears as they thought of the girls that would sit in this room this year.
We pray that they will find peace.
Making an Impact – Kruger National Park
After visiting a few amazing charities, Paul and Ryan were off the photograph some of the most beautiful landscapes and animals South Africa has to offer. Their photographs did not disappoint.
The amazing photographs taken at this park will live on forever and make an impact in the lives of some incredible children in South Africa.
Take a look at a few photos Paul and Ryan were able to capture.
Look for these and more in their WorldPix Galleries within the next few weeks.
Thank you for your continued support!