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Positive Exposure in Kenya

March 10, 2010

Hey All: Blogging from Doha, Qatar. Arrived on Monday night after spending  2 great but crazy weeks shooting in Kenya.

The trip began as a mission of empowerment to fortify our friends living with albinism bordering Tanzania. Fear that the witchdoctors under scrutiny by the international press  and government pressure will send their henchmen across the borders to areas where the local press isn’t interested in a potential threat against humanity and people with albinism, although always discriminated against in Kenya might let their guard down and walk freely in public without fear of being murdered for their body parts. It’s a nightmare. Positive Exposure has partnered with several international and local organizations in Kenya to create public awareness programs, educational workshops and community outreach initiatives to empower people with albinism in Kenya, their families and friends. Our mission is to change public perceptions of difference  and prevent the genocide caused by fear and  ignorance from spreading  to neighboring Tanzanian countries like Kenya, Uganda and Burundi. Our goal is to create a  portable and sustainable  prototype that will be launched in Kenya then travel throughout Africa protecting our brothers and sisters living with physical or behavioral differences.

I traveled to several regions with a most remarkable film crew from Kartemquin Films,  shooting the PE documentary. Director Producer, Joanna Rudnick, Camerawoman Dana Kupper and Sound engineer, John Mathie, together in partnership with ICEVI’s Bernard Mogesa and  the beautiful and inspiring  Jayne Waithera, we covered lots of territory, from Nairobi to Embu, Nyeri and Meru. (as a side note, I met Jayne in Kerala, India in 2009  when I visited the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurship following a trip with the Under the Same Sun Team to Tanzania.. Jayne was a participant at the Institute)

Our list of activities included a Television interview, a rally at Jimhuri Park for people with disabilities, visits to St Lucy’s School for the Blind, in Meru, Kilimani Primary School, Kibera School for Girls, an outdoor and very public exhibition at the Kenya National Theater, a visit to Jayne Grand and Great grand mothers in Nyeri as well as a visit to a garden community initiative designed for and by people living  with albinism in Embu. We met with ASK members as well as the Founder of AFEA, the lovely powerhouse Mumbi, visited clinics and attended a workshops for families caring for a child with this condition. A groundbreaking activity was the formation of Positive Exposure Kenya with Jayne at the helm. Plans to travel into the rural areas  where ignorance is rampant are in development. PE Kenya has also recruited a youth board to create innovative programs to change public The  youth board will be driving the programs, lectures, exhibitions and presentations and there is some stirring about creating a dedicated FM radio station for people living with difference  So EXCITING…  I topped off the trip with a 2 day safari in the Masai Mara. UNBELIEVALBE. I saw lions and giraffes and cheetahs and elephants… It was incredible and invigourating. Im now ready for the next leg of this 1 month journey.

Im currently here in Qatar to collaborate with medical students at Weill Medical School –Qatar, to develop self esteem and self advocacy programs for people living with physical or behavioral differences in the middle east. Nature genetics will be joining us on a trip to Oman to work with the genetics community there as well to spread the message: CELEBRATE YOUR DIFFERENCE I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out some production pics from Kenya..

The beautiful Jayne Waithera

Jayne and Documentary Director Joanna Rudnick meeting for the first time.

xo Rick

Positive Exposure's Youth Board, Kenya

John at Kilimani Primary School, Nairobi

Lavenda and her mom at Kilimani Primary School, Nairobi

Positive Exposure's outdoor exhibition at the Kenya National TheaterAnn, youth board.

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John, youth board.

Beautiful Josephine, Albinism Foundation of East Africa!

Rally for People with DIsabilities,Jimhuri Park, Nairobi

Jimhuri Park Rally.

Parents Day, St. Andrews, Nairobi.

Parents Day, St. Andrews, Nairobi.

Jayne speaking with parents of kids with albinism. Parents Day, St. Andrews, Nairobi.

In Kibera, heading to the amazing Kibera School for Girls. American Friends of Kenya

Students at the Kibera School for Girls.

Jayne with her photo from India at exhibition

Sisters at the outdoor exhibition.

At the exhibition...

Visiting Jayne's family in Nyeri. This is Jayne's Great Grandmother..

Jayne's classroom at her primary school.

Students at St. Kucy's School for the Blind in Meru.

St. Lucy's in Meru

St. Lucy's in Meru

St. Lucy's in Meru

St. Lucy's in Meru

St. Lucy's in Meru

St. Lucy's in Meru

Crossing the equator with film crew!

Our producer/director Joanna in Nyeri!

Jimhuri Park Rally and PE exhibition.

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5 comments

  1. This is great i miss you guys


    • Amazing people and amazing work. Joanna, you touch so many lives and have so much to give. You are indeed an inspiration. I am so proud of you.

      Shirley


  2. You never cease to amaze us! Joanna,you are an inspiration to us all and we love seeing the incredible things that you are doing and sharing with the world.


  3. Joey, you are an incredible and very talented young woman and I’m so proud of you. The film you are doing on albinism reveals a subject most of us know nothing about. I was fascinated by Rick’s photos. I’m happy you were able to
    go on safari and experience something your mom and dad loved so much. My 2 trips to East and South Africa were also my favorites. I’m sure you will enjoy teaching in the Middle East and I hope the remainder of your trip will be just as exciting. I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home. Have a safe and rewarding time.
    Much love,
    “Aunt” Lynn


  4. I’m the lucky KTQ intern who got to do logging for the footage shot in Kenya. I have to say I was smiling at the monitor the entire day, and even got teary-eyed at times. It was wonderful getting to follow Jayne’s story. She’s truly a beautiful person indeed.

    I love the work you are doing, Rick. You bring sunshine into the lives of others. Thanks for all the hard work, I can’t wait to see more!



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