Deciding to volunteer abroad is a major decision. Back in 2013, Ceallaigh Anderson Smart was working as a non-profit consultant traveling to Rwanda for work. She had a passion for travel, especially in Africa. During her time there, she realized that the men, women and children she photographed, who had no access to cameras, should have been the ones keeping her photos. Thus Print the Love was born!
Maybe you’ve just found Print The Love, or maybe you’ve been considering a trip with us for awhile now. Either way, there are so many circumstances that bring people together to volunteer. Maybe you haven’t decided whether a Print The Love trip is for you. In November 2018, we will travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia to give away instant photographs to schools, hospitals, and remote villages. We’ve gathered some volunteers for Print The Love’s upcoming trip to talk about why they’ve decided to join us in our mission to promote love and kindness, and give away instant photos.
Rachel Werch, Print The Love Volunteer
Mab Nulty, Print The Love Board Member
Q: Who are you and how did you find out about Print The Love?
RW: My name is Rachel, and I recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a bachelor's in sociology and a master's in education. I found out about Print the Love while looking for career opportunities through the MN Council of Nonprofits.
MN: I am a Print the Love board member and also Ceallaigh Smart's mother.
Q: What motivated you to join the trip to Cambodia?
RW:I fell in love with Print the Love's mission to bring print photography to under resourced communities. I have always been interested in photography and helping others- and the opportunity to travel to Cambodia to merge these two passions was too hard to pass up.
MN: I have watched PTL grow from the tiny seed of a dream to a blossoming organization spreading love and kindness around the world. I have wanted to go on one of the trips since I took Ceallaigh to the airport on her way to Rwanda for the first PTL trip in 2014 but this was the first time I was able to make my schedule work to match up with a trip. Whenever I heard from other people about the connection they felt when giving away photos, I knew I wanted to be a part of that experience someday. I love to travel and I have never been to Asia so I am very excited to have this adventure there.
Q: Do you have any hopes for the Cambodia trip? Is there anything you're especially excited for?
RW: I am most excited to visit the school children in Cambodia. As a teacher, I love educational environments and I love spending time with students! I hope to bring joy to people's lives and leave a positive footprint on the world.
MN: I am most excited to experience what a Print the Love trip is like. I want to meet and connect with Cambodians, my fellow travelers from the US and immerse myself in a land I have never seen before. Learn more about myself, others and nature - life!
Q: Why is Print The Love a worthy cause? What is valuable about giving away photos to those in need?
RW: Print the Love is a worthy cause because often times we do not even think about how lucky we are to have so many photos of ourselves and our loved ones. We are able to remember events, see how we have aged, and remember family and friends who have passed. Giving the gift of photography to others is a simple, yet powerful action.
MN: I am a head in the clouds, feet on the ground kind of person. I believe in a world full of peace and love but I only know how to make that happen one person at a time, one helping hand or friendly word at a time. The gift of a photograph means you are unique, valuable and this moment in your life is important. Print the Love offers a simple and direct gesture of love that has immediate and rippling effects. Photographs have always been very important to me. I decorate my house with them and walking by my loved ones dozens of times a day still always warms my heart and keeps me connected to memories as well as the moment as I well up with gratitude and finally purpose for what is to come. To think of someone not having a photo to treasure and to share, of course makes a fan like me want to change it.
To find out more about Print The Love’s mission and our upcoming trips, visit printthelove.org/trips