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See potential not poverty. Recently, I have found a snap shot doesn’t satisfy me. I am no longer inspired by being an observer and just snapping pictures of what is happening around me. I want to be a recorder. A documentarian of humanity. I want to see and document truth! Not just my truth, my perspective, my opinion. I want to record the kind of truth that isn’t often communicated, easily captured or often expressed.
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I know my vision, my perspective, my opinions can be and is most often flawed.
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My experience is SO different then the people we serve. I am a middle aged, college educated, white male, that grew up in the suburbs and do to my parents hard work, love and support received more blessings then I will ever deserve.
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When these Maobo women see themselves, they do not see poverty. They do not see weak. They do not see themselves with a hand out pleading to be saved. Their truth is that they are strong, beautiful, empowered women, wanting to make a better life for their children, families and themselves.
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Are they thankful for the assistance we provide them by giving them a light, that can transform their lives? Yes. But…. they don’t want a handout. They want a hand up! The difference between the two is monumental. Assistance wrapped in dignity. Help tied with a bow of self-reliance. Don’t we all want and deserve a hand up to reach our next mountaintop?
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As you view each face in this photo, please see their truth, not your perspective. See the hand up, not a handout. See potential not poverty.

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