Canon’s commitment to help the youth to harness the power of positive visual storytelling to drive change, is exposing young people to learning opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had. Through its Young People Programme, Canon provides coaching and tools to empower young people to bring their stories to life and make their voices heard on topics that are important to them.
Canon’s Miraisha initiative – which aims to promote job opportunities in Africa by offering workshops to aspiring photographers, videographers and film-makers – has seen over 3 000 participants taking part in training sessions since its inception three years ago. In South Africa, the Wild Shots Outreach programme forms part of this Young People Programme intiative and is helping to educate underprivileged children in the art of wildlife photography and its impact on conservation.
Children who participate in the Wild Shots Outreach programme near the Kruger National Park, are being trained to use the functionality of Canon EOS 1300D cameras and their confidence in their visual storytelling skills is growing. The students are taught photography in a series of practical workshops before going on a game drive to put what they have learned into practice. For many of them, this is the first time that they have ever had the opportunity to see their wildlife heritage, despite living on the edge of the Kruger National Park.
“We are thrilled with the EOS 1300D cameras from Canon. The children love experimenting with the great functionality and the results have been fantastic. It is certainly rewarding to be able to teach our young learners using updated camera technologies,” says Mike Kendrick who founded and manages the Wild Shots Outreach programme.
Wild Shots has been running the Outreach Programme for two and a half years and so far has reached 366 students through 40 courses. Learners have also has the opportunity to attend the Wild Shots Conference and an exhibition of their photographic work has been created to showcase the best images and stories behind the images.
Aligned with the Young People Programme, Canon SA also works with schools and clubs to inculcate a passion for photography and develop skills amongst the country’s youth.
The company assists schools to establish photography clubs for the benefit of their learners and where possible, also provides equipment such as cameras and printers for club members to use.
At Hartebeespoort High School in the North West, which was the first school in the province to benefit from this programme, youngsters got to use their skills to capture the action of the inter- high school athletics. “It was heartening to see the members of the photography club using their newfound skills and get to grips with their equipment to document the day’s activity. The feedback from the youngsters and the smiles on their faces said it all.
“The Young People Programme is about personal journeys and helping the youth to engage with the world around them. By improving their confidence and developing their skills in visual storytelling, we can help more young people to reach their potential and make a positive impact on the world. From wildlife and conservation to sport, we can open their eyes to the opportunities available to them to tell their stories, drive change and even generate an income, with photography,” says Michelle Janse van Vuuren, Marketing Director at Canon SA.
Stuart Poore, Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at Canon Europe comments; “The Young People Programme is one of several sustainability projects Canon Europe is currently running in the EMEA region that deliver social and environmental benefits through our people and products, demonstrating our commitment to our corporate philosophy of Kyosei: living and working together for the common good. We hope this programme will help us grow the positive power of imaging technology and services whilst amplifying the voice of young people in developing the United Nations’ SDGs.”