Harvesting rice © Damyoma Isaac
Giving cameras to farmers in northern Ghana has not just resulted in increased awareness of their development needs and more control over their lives - an enthusiastic volunteer with Christian Aid dropped me a line to tell me about "My Home, My Farm", a wonderful project she has been helping to develop into an exhibition in London.
From the press release: "We believe that the future of international development lies in utilising modern and innovative communication methods. Ghanaian farmers are faced with the problem of having little or no access to market information. This forces them to sell their produce at the roadside to tradesmen and middlemen at very low prices.
Christian Aid partnered with Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG) to develop the MyPharm project. This supplies the farmers with mobile phones and weekly text messages informing them exactly what their produce is worth. To record the progress of the project Christian Aid and YHFG partnered with PhotoVoice to give the farmers cameras and photography training. The result is a collection of beautifully honest photographs."
"Water is life. This is our source of water. It is about half a mile from my house. Many people who depend on it live further away." © Apam Apamlea
"The whole community has to use this one borehole, and it is hard to get enough. It takes a long time and everyone, young and old, has to wait to get what they need for their family. Sometimes this causes quarrels about who should take water first."
© Jonas Awinpala
"This photograph was exhibited at the Chief's Palace of Anafobisi where it caught the eye of community water and sanitation staff. They were so moved by the image that they have now provided an additional borehole for the community. Jonas Awinpala has also brought business into the community. He photographed baskets that people in his community had weaved and sent the images to an entrepreneur who has now entered into a contract with the community. Jonas has made approximately £192 from his photography."
A couple uprooting grandnuts on the field. © Linda Atibilla Lariba
These snapshots of Ghanaian life through local eyes will be exhibited at Kahaila café in London's Brick Lane, from April 2nd to May 5th. Go see!