When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. -Abraham Joshua Heschel
Recently, I was awarded an honourable mention from International Photography Award (IPA) 2013. I am sincerely grateful to be included and feel especially encouraged because the honourable mention was for my work with “Project Give”, a dear and meaningful project to me.
Last year, Yong How and I met Rae from “Project Give” for the first time. I was making casual conversation with her like any usual day when you first meet a new acquaintance; never did I expect it to become a start of an experience that would be so fulfilling. Rae had shared with us about “Project Give”, a project she initiated after she had received kindness from others while taking care of her child with special needs. Moved by her cause, we felt that it is only right for us to give back to the society too.
Acknowledging our intention, Rae came up with the idea of us taking photographs of families with children of special needs. Through photography, more people will come to understand the living circumstances of these children with special needs and their families. We both thought it was a great idea. Photography is our passion, and to use our passion to help others, I can’t think of anything more satisfying.
Under “Project Give”, we took pictures of three families with children of special needs. During those time spent with them, I realised that when you give, you really do receive. It was a familiar phrase we heard, but you only truly believe it when you experience it yourself. I participated in the project wanting to give back, but I found myself getting something back at the same time. Not only that I felt great helping them, I learnt many things from them. Things like hope, sacrifice, determination, commitment and love that I thought I already knew.
Having received so much from Project Give, I hope that more people would be encouraged to offer their expertise to help those families in need. I am sure you would receive much more in return.
Darren (123 Photography)