Lensational is a social enterprise that aims to empower women economically and emotionally through photography. It works through local volunteers and with local organizations to provide photography workshops and leadership lessons to women and girls.
They have worked in eleven countries across Africa and Asia over three years and have reached over three hundred women and girls through their programmes.
They work in three seperate stages. First, they organize basic photography workshops with local organizations and volunteers. They provide donated cameras to women and teach them how to tell stories through photography.
Through social media and local and international exhibitions they highlight the women’s stories and work, then put their photos on thier own website for sale. The women receive at least 33% and up to 50% of the revenue from the photos, while the rest is invested in their partner organizations and into Lensational’s programming.
Next they teach more advanced photography, particularly through the Lensational Academy in Hong Kong. These more advanced lessons, often taught by local photographers and previous programme participants, teach women not only more advanced photography skills and techniques but also encourage community building, leadership skills, and the chance to focus on particular issues in a community or area. These photos are also highlighted on social media and their website.
Finally Lensational supports women who want to start their own personal photography businesses and enterprises. They connect them to local photographers who can mentor them and with business development staff who help them fine tune their vision to achieve their goals.
Lensational’s first ever photography workshop was headed by Bonnie Chiu, the Lensational CEO, in 2013. The workshop received a fair amount of local attention and was even featured in Pakistani and British media, particularly the Guardian. Since then Lensational has been working with volunteers in a range of countries, from Hong Kong to Kenya to Bhutan to India, but it was only in 2015 that they started moving towards having new programmes in Pakistan.
Lensational is currently working with Samina Seth, who is not only an official Lensational volunteer but is also spearheading many of the changes to Lensational and several efforts to create a sustainable photography programme with schools in Pakistan. Currently they are pursuing a pilot programme in Pakistan while looking to create a more long-term partnership with either local organizations or local schools.
The content source is,Rebecca Watson The Global Programmes Manager at Lensational.For more information about the program and for volunteers interested in joining Lensational write to : firstname.lastname@example.org .