From"HOW THEYSEE" to "HOW THEY EAT", The Bio Greenhouse Project
My name is Daniel Malka, founder and president of THE DANIEL MALKA PHOTO PROJECT, a non profit organization registered and based in Canada.
Inspired by my passion for photography, my fatherhood, my teaching experience and my sense of humanism, a year ago I self founded this project.
It aims at giving a basic education, basic training in photography, classes in story telling to marginalized children in remote areas where most NGO's won't reach.
Some of the objectives of The Daniel Malka Photo Project:
- Teach them story telling, basic techniques in photography
- Identify the problems and most important needs of the children and the community.
- Give the children some creative tools, a basic education, make them aware of their environment, culture, share with them my passion for photography, so they can share their vision, life style from their point of view, with the rest of the world.
-Bring public awareness to children's issues in different countries.
I came to Ruka, Peru 5 months ago to teach story telling photography to the children of this community in the Andes that does not even appear on Google Map.
The little heroes from Ruka have gained my heart and soul with their talent, resilience, hard work, determination, respect, friendship and love for photography.
Ruka, the Andes it’s people, the kids have made feel an attachment to this earth, and a form of happiness that is not linked to what we posses but rather to what we can offer. As they say in the Andes, the mountain gives everything. True, I have sat on a giant stone in Ruka, day after day, watching it’s people smile as they went on with their daily tasks. They maintain their culture, a healthy community spirit, and that infinite connection with the land, thus our earth, and that in itself is a form of happiness that our industrialized world has somewhat lost.
The little heroes from Ruka are up at dawn, by 5:30 am they walk the animals, by 6 am they start their 2 hour walk to school.
The living conditions at 3500 meters altitude are hard. It’s cold and rainy for months. The only access is through a 2 km very narrow trail with ravines on its side. The kids run to school and walk back, up the same trail.
By 3 pm they are at my door for their photography classes.
I lived in Ruka for a while. Coming from Canada, a country where the winter lasts many months and temperatures are way below zero, I thought I knew what cold was. But in Canada, there is heating in the houses.
In Ruka, the houses are as cold as the outside. The only source of heating is when they cook. There is no running water and electricity is very rudimentary.
The main problem of the little heroes from Ruka is severe malnutrition: lack of vitamins, protein, fats, calcium causing developmental problems from generation to generation. Their diet consists of what the earth is willing to produce at that altitude and climate: potatoes and some corn.
I made a commitment to help these children, I have spent every penny I owned to be in Peru and teach these kids what I know best, what I taught my own talented daughter. It’s been as difficult as gratifying.
I have learned from them the richness of their culture and infinite sense of humanism.
I made another commitment, simpler and sustainable in time. Building these children a Bio-Greenhouse that will allow them to grow some fruit, vegetables and some protein.
The children of Ruka are smart, creative and hard working. They will run the greenhouse successfully.
The example to their community and others as well is that education gives positive results.
In the same creative line of thinking, they will decorate the greenhouse and document the whole process.
It will be an example and model that can help many other forgotten communities like Ruka without changing their culture, way of life and most of all respect for our fragile environment.
I am calling upon everyone to help me help the little heroes from Ruka by showing them that their work is worthy and they are not forgotten by the rest of us.
We all have the ability to throw in a couple of bucks to improve the development and nutrition of these children.
The cost o the greenhouse including plans, materials, seeds, implementation, transport to an area without a road, and the education of the kids is $5000.00. The labour will be put in by the men and women of Ruka.
In order for myself to remain in Peru and help the children document the whole process, as well as for the project to go to two other remote communities, I will need 3000$ in order to sustain myself for the next 4 months, including transportation.
I hope we can raise the funds, as I have put in everything I had to help these kids. They deserve the Greenhouse, our admiration and our help.