Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 17, 2013.

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"Ubuntu – the essence of being human." Shooting family portraits for the people in the slums of Kibera. Why? Because we can.

(January 9, 2013)
We're at the 90% mark, but it still might be too early to say, but we have been considering what we might do if we were to exceed our targeted goal!!
The plan is to purchase TWO photo printers and DOUBLE the ink toner!
Go big or go home, yeah??
So keep spreading the love and let's go for more than 100%! Thank you, everyone!

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Join us in this journey!

What's up everybody?

My name is Nathan and my brother's name is Aaron.
And we're going to Kenya!

We're going to Kenya to bond and spend some quality brother-time before the both of us get busy with our lives.

After purchasing our tickets, we decided it might be a good idea to do some research, so then that's when we came across two interesting things: Ubuntu and Kibera.

Ubuntu is a concept that initially began in southern Africa but is known throughout Africa as a concept referring to "brotherly love" or also is recognized by the phrase "I am what I am because of who we all are."

This powerfully profound concept can be said in a few different ways: botho, umunthu, gira ubuntu, obuntu, utu, unhu, and more, but they all represent the same concept of interconnected humanity.

The other word, Kibera is the name of a slum near Nairobi. Apparently, Nairobi is one of the fastest growing counties, but is also home to one the biggest slums in the world.
Kibera has been considered to be the largest slum in Africa, but according to a recent census, it shrunk from 1 million to 170,000. Granted, I'm getting all my info from what Wikipedia and Blogs are saying, but either way.... This slum is huge!

Like mentioned before, our tickets are already purchased and we have our own personal budget set, so then what's the money for?

The project:
Taking family portraits and giving a nicely framed, high quality print for absolutely no cost for the people of Kibera.

People have been asking "Why"?
Then I always ask them in return, "Why not?"

So my reason: because we can.

The money will be put into purchasing a high quality photo printer ($200-300), printer paper (???), printer toner (???), and frames (???). All prices are estimates, since we'll be purchasing most of them after we land in Kenya. Electronic goods are very expensive once we get there, so hopefully we will be able to have enough of a budget for 200 families! (~$10 per family)

You can put the you in "us"
The unity in "community"
...and three of you can put the three u's in "UbUntU"!

Thank you so much for watching this video and I hope that you support us in this. If you have any questions at all, please send me a personal message via Kickstarter or Facebook.

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We've posted our confirmed itinerary to show that we already financed our flight and since we'll be staying with friends and strangers (via Couchsurfing) we're gonna struggle but manage to survive on our own personal budget.
This project is totally independent from our personal travel budget in terms of financing for this trip. One important factor for the Ubuntu Project is to keep the project's intentions pure by having all the funding not be of a single source, but that of those who believe and want to see a more loving and free society.
A community giving to another community, simply because we can.

Take family portraits for the people in the slums of Kibera and give it to them framed at no cost.

These pictures will be printed from an amazing printer, onto awesome photo paper, then presented in a nice frame. The simple reason for that: Ubuntu.
Why do an act of kindness if it's only half-hearted?

In the end, these pictures will be collected and put together as a part of a series to be called "Ubuntu: Kibera "
(These will be the books that special donors will be receiving.)

The official end to this project is when the first photo book is printed.

...or is it the beginning??

Here's proof of the flight! Now that everyone knows the flight times and places, you're welcome to join!
Here's proof of the flight! Now that everyone knows the flight times and places, you're welcome to join!

Initially, it was a trip just for me and my brother to have some time together and get to know each other. This is what led to this concept of Ubuntu! Extending from family bonds to strangers, in hopes of making humanity one big family.

The goal and hope of this project is to capture two aspects of life that tend to be taken for granted: love and now.

"What is 'Ubuntu'?"

Ubuntu: "I am what I am because of who we all are."
(From a definition offered by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu offered a definition in a 1999 book:[4]
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

Tutu further explained Ubuntu in 2008:[5]
"One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity."

Nelson Mandela explained Ubuntu as follows:[6]
"A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?"

Judge Colin Lamont expanded on the definition during his ruling on the hate speech trial of Julius Malema [8]:

"Ubuntu is recognised as being an important source of law within the context of strained or broken relationships amongst individuals or communities and as an aid for providing remedies which contribute towards more mutually acceptable remedies for the parties in such cases. Ubuntu is a concept which:

is to be contrasted with vengeance;
dictates that a high value be placed on the life of a human being;
is inextricably linked to the values of and which places a high premium on dignity, compassion, humaneness and respect for humanity of another;
dictates a shift from confrontation to mediation and conciliation;
dictates good attitudes and shared concern;
favours the re-establishment of harmony in the relationship between parties and that such harmony should restore the dignity of the plaintiff without ruining the defendant;
favours restorative rather than retributive justice;
operates in a direction favouring reconciliation rather than estrangement of disputants;
works towards sensitising a disputant or a defendant in litigation to the hurtful impact of his actions to the other party and towards changing such conduct rather than merely punishing the disputant;
promotes mutual understanding rather than punishment;
favours face-to-face encounters of disputants with a view to facilitating differences being resolved rather than conflict and victory for the most powerful;
favours civility and civilised dialogue premised on mutual tolerance.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_(philosophy)

"Okay, I know what Ubuntu is now... so what?"

The goal is to capture Ubuntu in a sequence of steps:

1. Present this idea to you and hope that you want to join

2. Purchase a very good portable photo printer, high quality photo paper, extra toner, and purchase frames when I land in Kenya

3. When I'm in Kenya, I can begin to offer free portraits to families via posters, word of mouth, and the help of friends

4. Send "thank you" postcards to you, the supporters, along with pictures of these wonderful people I met (along with souvenirs for the big donors!)

5. Establish an unsaid connection between the people I take pictures of to the people that backed this project and hopefully to others as well

Those steps sound nice, but really?

I still have faith in humanity!
Personally, if this project is able to be fully funded, it'll give me hope in hope itself!
At the heart of this project is ubuntu itself! I believe that this is a step in the right direction together in terms of developing as a society and maturing as an aware global community.

Why $2,500?

To be completely honest, I have no idea how much to forecast for the shipping costs of the "Rewards", the prices of the frames in Kenya, and the costs of printing hard copies for the special donors. $2,500 seemed like a fair amount to ask for. However, I can say that whatever excess donation I receive will be dealt with in this order:

1. Excess donations will be spent on higher quality frames

2. If there is still money left, then it will be reinvested into other Kickstarter projects and that the donors/sponsors will get to choose

***I will be as transparent as possible with each and ever penny that I receive for this project!

***As soon as the first pictures are taken I will keep you updated through this site and through my blog.

P.S. The "Rewards" section is referring to this part from "Dude, Where's My Car".

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Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Delivery issues with local post offices-
Worst case scenario, we can bring what we would have sent off from Africa and send them out when we get back home, which would be kind of sad, but is the only practical solution that comes to mind.
Equipment being stolen-
God forbid that anything is stolen on our trip, just thinking about it is making me a little nervous, but if any of the equipment was stolen then I could purchase a new one with my own my money. It's not too expensive.
***A majority of the "Rewards" will go straight into the shipping and printing expenses of the pictures and souvenirs that I will be sending back to you.
I'm planning to buy these "Rewards" handmade/non-touristy keepsakes from small family owned stores, so they'll be much nicer and definitely unique!

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    A handwritten thank you postcard from Kenya!

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    A handwritten "thank you" postcard from Kenya ...and then... a 4x6" print from the series (of your choice)!

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    A handwritten "thank you" postcard from Kenya ...and then... a 4x6" print from the series (of your choice) ...and then... the complete series made into a small photo book!

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    A handwritten "thank you" postcard from Kenya ... and then... a 4x6" print from the series (of your choice) ...and then... the complete series made into a small photo book ...AND THEN... a cool souvenir from Kenya, too!

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    A handwritten "thank you" postcard from Kenya ...and then... a 4x6" print from the series (of your choice) ...and then... the complete series made into a small photo book ...and then... a cool souvenir from Kenya ...ANNND THEN... a coffee table book sized copy of the complete series with your name in the "Special Thanks" in the front cover of the book.

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    1 backer All gone!

    AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN... If you donate this much, then just send me an email telling me what you want me to get you from Kenya. I don't know if I can send live animals... but I'll see what I can do. It'll have to be a small animal. You'll get all the above too, of course.

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