A photography-inspired learning program by WT Foundation
Passionate volunteers Reflect lens with lens, influence lives with lives
“To me, the nearly 55 volunteers in Shining Hope are all chosen ones. We have a tacit understanding! We are all similar, willing to give, taking the initiative to help, keeping a low profile, and always thinking about others first!” – Wu Yingchi, volunteer and leading instructor at Gongliao Elementary School
“I am very grateful to every volunteer. They are not only teaching photography, but affecting lives with lives. Children always ask me why the volunteers are so elegant and low-key every time they come. The children say they want to be a photographer when they grow up!” – Su Yuhua, teacher of Lunshan Elementary School, Hualien
In addition to the support of the Foundation and the full cooperation of the schools, the success of the Shining Hope Photography Project is also due to the photography volunteers who have become the main backbone of the project. Without the support of volunteers, the implementation of the project would have been greatly undermined and hindered. It seems sometimes that, instead of volunteers, they are more like full-time professionals who apply the professional knowledge and valuable experience gained in the workplace and from parent-child education to the project; sometimes they are more like parents, brothers or sisters, or role models to the parentless children in rural areas, offering them warm company and affections.
The most invaluable aspect of the photography project is relationship building and companionship. What the project offers is not only photography classes, but also occasions for language exchange, exposure, exploration, aesthetic layout learning, and emotional education. “Photography project allows me to be a child again,” “It’s not about what we give to the children, but what the children give to us,” “Whenever a volunteer doesn’t show, the children will ask how come so and so didn’t come,” “What the photography volunteers bring is not just photography, but love!” I have heard many feedbacks from volunteers and comments of others on the volunteers. They are indeed a group of angels who reflect lens with lens and influence children’s lives with lives.
Number of schools: Eleven in total, of which four in New Taipei, three in Yilan, two in Hualien, and two non-profit institutions
Hemei Elementary School, Gongliao, New Taipei; Bitou Elementary School, Ruifang, New Taipei; Gongliao Elementary School, New Taipei; Pingsi Elementary School, New Taipei; Nanshan Elementary School, Datong, Yilan; Dajou Elementary School, Sansing, Yilan; Sanmin Elementary School, Jiaosi, Yilan; Lunshan Elementary School, Chuohsi, Hualien; Sanmin Elementary School, Chuohsi, Hualien; Dream House, Yilan; and Orphan Welfare Foundation, Neili, Taoyuan
Number of children: 160
Number of volunteers: An accumulated total of 55 volunteers have participated in volunteer photography services. As of now, five fully trained lead instructors are responsible for curriculum planning of individual schools.
Volunteer background: They come from Taipei City, New Taipei City, Yilan, Taichung, Hualien and other areas, and they are professional photography, psychologist, medical examiner, retired teacher and other education-related industries
Hours of instruction: 16,200 hours in total (nine 90-minute classes per semester per school) with an overall volunteer attendance rate of 89%