A Clarifying Moment…

September 3rd, 2012

We’ve been showing some great images and stories from our students this summer, but we’re going to pause for a minute here. We’ve recently come across some fundraising campaigns for photography projects in Iraq. We’re happy to have the company, as there is much need! These projects tend to be different from The ONE-SHOT Project in a few significant ways: they’re big, they sometimes have big name photographers attached, and the most obvious difference is the amount of funding they require to operate.

The following comes from an email that Heber sent yesterday. It was a personal, heart-felt email and was not written as a post. But the ideas are too important not to share, so Heber allowed me to post this here. It isn’t a criticism of what others are doing! Rather it’s a great opportunity for us to revisit and clarify our own focus.

1. Most of the initiatives I see trying to take off are dependant on raising funds, up to $30,000 for one year.
2. What’s going to happen after 8 weeks or 1 year when the projects finish?
3. It makes me proud of what we have done with ONE-SHOT, with our own funds and the help from a few friends… up until now avoiding big social media campaigns.
4. Not to say that these other initiatives are wrong, not at all!! (In fact I’d love to see more coming)
5. But we have a different understanding, and it sets us apart from most of these other initiatives.
6. I think we should continue to keep growing little by little, with no despair for our small size, but knowing that we are making a difference and that we are bringing something new to the table.
7. Finally we should do whatever it takes to STAY organic, and to stay away from funding organizations as the means to grow this project. Why? Because our message is powerful because of our humble-natural-organic way of working.

“I had a conversation with my [Kurdish friend] and when I reached the point of telling him about our vision for ONE-SHOT, he was totally moved, and I believe a seed was put in his heart about what all of this really means. He understands now that normal, REAL people care about them. Powerful thought!

A couple days ago, one of the kids from the orphanage called me, and he wants to see us… just for the sake of seeing us! Why? Because we are REAL!!

Organizations, with all the power and funds and expertise, can never be as REAL to the people here as those involved in ONE-SHOT. Why? Because in order to move, make decisions, and change, they need to think first in terms of their finances! Us? We only need to make a decision. With our way of living, it really is as simple as going and visiting these kids.

Every time I explain why we do the things we do, miracles happen… in people’s hearts.”

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