I wrote about my first experience with Help Portrait not too long ago. Yesterday I went back for more, first at a nursery school and then the Ikageng Itireleng AIDS Ministry in Orlando West, Soweto. I had a (photographically) educational experience shooting children during my first Help Portrait shoot, and this time I got to click a bunch of lovely, loud-mouthed, sweet, and all around badass group of grandmas (called gogo’s in many RSA languages). The Ikageng Itireleng programme seeks to look after and support 1,500 orphan-headed households in Soweto who are left parentless because of HIV-AIDS by providing counselling, home-based care, school fees, supplies, electricity, and psycho-social health through a network of volunteers and professional support.
These gogo’s care for orphaned children through Ikageng and we came to their support group to shoot them. It was such a pleasure to be there- while we were setting up they did their singing, dancing, praying, and the best part: gogo aerobics. These grannys took their exercises quite seriously, calling out anyone who wasn’t putting in full effort, and taking pleasure in the cameras that were there to document.
If you feel like helping out financially (which you can do through Ikageng’s website) and want reassurance about where your money would go, you can rest assured that it will be in good hands as corporations such as McKinsey vet, help and aid this organization, and it is a member of betterplace.org which strives for transparency and accountability in aid for small, lesser-known organizations . If you live in Jozi, you could also donate your time by volunteering at a creche or tutoring math, for instance (again through their website).
*As per usual, these images are not the images that will be returned to the gogo’s, but are my outtakes.