this is the story of the rajahmundry orphanage tucked away in the coastal region of southeast india.
last fall, a small group of photographers from around the world gathered in india and dove head-first into the unknown to explore the colorful country through hands-on culture-to-culture interaction and experience the places through the eyes of our cameras. after a stretch of days exploring many cities in the north and central region our group headed south to the villages and cities of andhra pradesh to document and spend time with the children of the rajahmundry orphanage and the women of elephant landing.
the rajahmundry orphanage is home to children from across the state. many of the children in the orphanage do not have parents, while many others may have a parent/guardian who is unable to provide for their support. they spend their time at the orphanage in school and make up the most giving, loving and caring community of children. while we visited their love extended to us in the most brilliant of ways as we danced, played, grew and learned from each other.
we then headed to smaller villages to visit the women of elephant landing. elephant landing is a non-profit in india for women and over the course of a 2 year training program teaches women to dye, sew and make fabric products. these products are then sold around the world. many of the women in the elephant landing programs have children at the orphanage in rajahmundry and by the time the women graduate from the program- they can return to their home villages, take their children from the orphanage and succeed as business women and mothers. 10 years later, over 300 women have graduated from the program, and have been able to pursue a better future for themselves and their children.
the bonds that we were able to make together in less than a week will truly last a lifetime.
we have truly never seen a smile like a rajahmundry smile.
our goal is to raise funds to send back to the orphanage to use toward general upkeep and day-to-day expenses that may occur for them. in addition, if we raise enough money, these funds also have the potential to help fund a large-scale project for the orphanage, such as the creation of a music room on the premises.
while we experienced quite the language barrier (many of the children did not speak english, and none of us spoke telugu!) we found a successful way of communicating with one another: through music.
there were exuberant dance parties and songs sung for one another. we believe that the presence of music would bring joy to their lives.
please consider giving anything you can to our GoFundMe campaign HERE