Focus for Humanity
May 26th, 2010

Focus for Humanity

If you’re a humanitarian or a photographer, then get excited. If you’re a humanitarian photographer, then get really excited. Seriously. Today is the official launch of Focus for Humanity.

At it’s core, Focus for Humanity is a catalyst, a helping hand, a kick start. Maybe you’re an amateur photographer hoping to turn professional. Or maybe you’re already a professional but have been trying to find a way of working with a particular organization to tell their story. Focus for Humanity is going to help you tell cultural and humanitarian stories. It’s not just pat-on-the-back help; it’s grants and awards (ie, money!). How cool is that? (I hope that I’m hearing ear-piercingly loud shouts of “very” or “seriously” from your end!) This is seriously cool. It’s not just you, or us, against the world anymore. Here’s an organization that is going to help. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this endeavor.

Focus for Humanity’s first act isn’t a photo competition with some dumb booby prize. No, it’s a chance to receive a grant of up to $15,000 to help an amateur turn professional. (That’s not a typo. It’s fifteen grand!) Up to $5,000 of that can be spent on gear! Come on; this is cool. No, that’s right, this is “seriously cool”. And it’s not just a check with a pat on the back. This grant comes with a mentor and all sorts of other ways to assist you in giving up the security of that dreadful desk job so that you can catch malaria like the rest of us in a jungle in Southeast Asia. (Oops, did I type that?)

Look, there’s nothing wrong with a desk job – unless your passion is to be elsewhere. Then it’s a really big problem. Focus for Humanity exists to help humanitarian photographers (from amateurs to professionals – as blurry as that division truly is) to become better, to tell important stories, to work – yes, work – for the betterment of humanity, through photography. But you’ll probably still have your computer on a desk. And, yes, you might actually catch malaria.

This first grant is just one of the ways that Focus for Humanity is going to help. There are many more, including participation in an international workshop (for free!). Can you tell that I’m excited about this? Well, I am.

I could go on and on about how truly wonderful this new organization is going to be; however, if you can read this, then you can certainly navigate and read the Focus for Humanity site. And by this point you really should already be on the edge of your seat and have skipped over to the Focus for Humanity site to check it all out. So, go thereā€¦ Now!

Oh, one last thing. (I know I already sent you away, but it seems that you’re still reading! Plus, I didn’t provide the link yet.) Support this effort. A small group of people, led by Italy Within The Frame alumnus Marco Ryan have poured their hearts, souls and a lot of hours into getting this off the ground. They did so because they truly believe that photography in general but humanitarian photographers in particular can make a difference. I think so too. If not us, then who?

Click here to get there. Thanks!

10 Responses to “Focus for Humanity”

  1. Ed says:

    This is fantastic. thanks for posting it so we know it is live! All of the other people involved in founding, setting it up, mentoring, grants etc. are an inspiration!

  2. sabrina says:

    I’m so excited for everyone involved in this initiative, Jeffrey. All of my favourite photographers in one place doing what they do best–helping people do what they love. There can’t be too many more honourable things than to help someone achieve a dream and you’re doing it on both sides of the house. Thank you.

  3. Anna Velkey-Solvberg says:

    Thank you Jeffrey, for writing a post on this superb initiative, and huge thanks to Marco and his team for making it happen! This grant will surely cause change: in the life of aspiring photographers and in the impact of humanitarian photography as such on our world. It will be out there for all to see!

  4. The site looks great. What a wonderful resource and opportunity for photographers.

  5. Bill Wells says:

    What a great way to help photographers focus on humanitarian efforts. Focus for Humanity will be applauded for its efforts. You’ve piqued my interest with your mention of an international workshop (free). Looking forward to hearing more. Congratulations, Marco, and thanks Jeffrey for helping spread the word.

  6. Looks great. With this now, and IGVP, there’s going to be a lot of amazing photography coming that can further the cause of peace and equality around this small planet.

  7. Franci says:

    wonderful initiative!!

  8. You can definitely tell you’re excited and so am I. I registered yesterday. Thanks for the resources and opportunities!

  9. Hello Jeffrey,

    this is a great initiative! I hope you can collect al lot of money to give away to people that are just so dedicated as you are and heading the same goals like you. You have collected a great stuff with all those colleagues of yours und you in the board. All the Best!

    Cheers Jens

  10. Tim Cowley says:

    Thanks for the post and a bit more info about this great group. I’m looking forward to being involved somehow.

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