Faces of the Philippines 2012

It was back in November 2009 that I first visited the Philippines and started my journey into humanitarian photography.  Since then I’ve clocked up over 100,000 miles, documenting work in Haiti, Guatemala, Zambia, Malawi, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Sri Lanka.  It’s been an amazing couple years and I was so pleased to have the opportunity to go back to the Philippines where it all started. Each and every country I’ve visited has given me such rich experiences but the Philippines still holds a very special place in my heart. It was nice to see friends I made on my first visit and also have the opportunity to cultivate new friendships. I visited communities that had taken great strides in pulling themselves out of poverty, shirking off those barriers which try to suppress them; as well as going into new areas where Outreach International are in the early stages of development. It was a great trip and I’m already looking forward to returning!

I’m currently in the process of cataloging and editing my images from this assignment but here are just a few I’ve selected for this post.

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All photos by Wayne Rowe – Visioning Images

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Faces of Guatemala

My recent assignment in Guatemala was a wet affair, to say the least.  Many of the images I’d seen from other photographers taken in this country had an array of bright colours and vibrant blue skies but unfortunately there wasn’t a single day without a blanket of cloud and torrential rain whilst I was there. For me it was an inconvenience that hindered me from doing what I was assigned to do but for the communities we were visiting rain like that meant even greater hardships than they already had to endure. During my stay, mudslides caused havoc around the country and loss of life was a daily occurrence. Walking around the communities which Outreach International support wasn’t easy as we slipped through the wet mud. But again, I was reminded of what this weather meant for the locals who had to walk miles to farm the land for their food, often carrying heavy loads whilst battling these elements.

As I spoke to various community members and listened to their stories I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, from the heart-wrenching sadness of hearing the woman who had no way to pay back the loan-sharks, suffering the consequences of not being able to do so, to the joy of seeing happy children in a newly built kindergarten school. As with all the places I’ve visited where Outreach International are involved there is an air of optimism and resolve from community members which I continue to find truly inspiring.

I’ve chosen a selection of images from this trip for my Faces of.. post, I hope they convey the character of some of the amazing people I had the opportunity to meet and share with.

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Although this last photo shouldn’t really be a part of the ‘Faces of’ posts I thought I’d include it to give an idea of the wet and muddy conditions.

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Images – copyright 2012 outreach-international.org

Photography by Wayne Rowe / Visioning Images

 

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Faces of Sri Lanka

So here’s a second post with a few shots from my recent assignment in Sri Lanka for Outreach International. It was an incredibly beautiful country with lush scenery which sometimes masked some of the poverty I encountered there. Before my visit I wasn’t fully aware of the level of poverty in much of this country and was saddened to hear of  the unrest which has affected so many people. To be honest, I struggled to see how such a friendly people could have serious disagreements with each other, hopefully many of these issues are starting to be resolved.  I forgot to mention in my last blog post that Andy Betts, Director of Communications and Marketing accompanied us on this trip, it was great to be able to work with Andy again.  The highlight of the trip for me was being able to visiti a Tamil displacement camp on the outskirts of Puttalam where I saw 2,000 muslim children who now have access to clean drinking water at the school, thanks to the work of Outreach International within the community.  Hopefully, some of my photos from the trip will find their way onto Outreach International’s website and I’d encourage you to regularly head over to their site to keep updated on their work.

I hope you enjoy the photos and get a feel for the amazing people of Sri Lanka.

All photos by Wayne Rowe / Visioning Images

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