Riviére Froide Kid Camera Project 2014 

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to return to our students and friends in Riviére Froide this summer.

We’d like to share some reflections and highlights from another wonderful and productive workshop. It is amazing how much can be accomplished in such a short period of time. Beyond teaching young people how to take a photograph, there are many important and eye-opening experiences that come from a One Bird project. As educators and students, we appreciate and greatly value the reciprocity in the learning process, where all involved participate as both teacher and student. We learned new words in Creole, and our students learned advanced functions of the DSLR cameras. We visited student homes and learned more about their daily lives, and they learned the rule of thirds and that Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce was (arguably) the inventor of photography. By the end of our ten-day program, Ariya was driving around Carrefour like a pro, and our students were holding cameras and taking pictures like professional photographers!

This summer we worked with forty-three students in two groups; an advanced class consisting of third year students, and a beginning level class comprised mostly of new students, with a few second year students.

Building on two summers of photography workshops, the advanced class was introduced to the creative uses of shutter speed and aperture through motion and depth of field. These students also used manual focus for the first time instead of relying on auto focus. Evens Mevoit, the director of MEJHAM, our partner organization in Haiti, gave a lecture on using the Internet to create online photography portfolios. He showed the students how to use applications such as Powerpoint and how to create a Picasa account. Evens’ vision for the young people in his community is that they not only use their photography skills as a creative outlet, but also as a way to earn income and provide for themselves and their families. He wants to help them by establishing a photo business so they could photograph weddings and other local events. One Bird will continue to provide hands on instruction and we will continue to seek funding to purchase more photo equipment in order to help MEJHAM realize their goal.

During the course of the week, the advanced class worked together to create an audio slideshow as well! They wrote scripts, which they recorded as narration for their selected images.

Our third year in Riviére Froide marked the transition of our lead translator, Bruno  M. Germain, to lead photography teacher for our class of first-year students. We are excited to add Bruno to our roster of talented One Bird instructors. In this class of 28 students, we also had one of our advanced students, Fortuné, step into the role of translator from student. Both Bruno and Fortuné did an outstanding job and we look forward to having more of our students move into leadership roles in the future. This group created journals and personal maps of Haiti, while learning photographic composition and how to use point and shoot and DSLR cameras. For the exhibition they each selected two photographs that illustrate the idea of contrast, which we showcased along with their creative writing.

Students from both classes expressed a range of feelings and impressions through their photographs, writing, and narration. Many shared the pride they feel for their country and community, as well as their wish to make it better. When they take pictures, they not only see the reality of their surroundings, but also a future where the government better cares for it’s people, with better infrastructure, more trees, and less trash to support a healthier community.

Thank you for your continued support as we help get the important stories of the Riviére Froide Kid Camera Project students heard!

The Riviére Froide Kid Camera Project 2014 Summer Program was made possible by:

Art4Moore, David Meinhardt, Jake Martin, Rafe & Rose Martin, Jen Perena, Monika Ueffinger, Community Darkroom (Sharon Turner), Michaela Cannon, Sasha Cardena, Christine James, Kim Loan Nguyen, Greg Sheldon, Susan Meggs, Deborah Dallinger, Priya Thridandam, Van Nguyen, Eva Silverman, Urfa Qadri, Surinder & Kathy Malik

imageAriya, Bruno (translator and newest instructor), and Tara

imageTurbo and Tara selecting images while his brother Leger works on his narration for the audio slideshow

imageIn the school yard taking pictures


  Berno, Beginning student


 Christerline, Advanced student 


Alexis Franz, Beginning student


Exhibition and Awards Ceremony

Riviere Froide Kid Camera Project 2013 




Hello from our last day in Haiti. We have spent the past two weeks working with 69 students in Riviere Froide, a community in Carrefour on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

This year, we had the good fortune of working with both new and returning students from the previous year. While the new students learned basic camera techniques and elements of composition, our returning students were introduced to advocacy through photography and writing. Students were shown examples of other youth advocacy work from the United States, and discussed what they loved about their neighborhood and country and what they wanted to see change. All students completed four projects: a self-portrait photograph, a community project documenting their neighborhood, a handmade journal, and a mapping project, where they shared their dreams for the future of Haiti and the next generation. This included hospitals, schools, clean water sources, trees and increased security. Students were also introduced to basic lighting techniques, which many utilized in their self-portrait photographs.

In our second week, students, translators and teachers took a field trip to a former sugarcane plantation and a beach, where they had fun making videos and photographs with a GoPro camera in the sea. This portion of the program was especially well-received by the youth who rarely have opportunities to travel outside of their community.

The program ended with a student exhibition, where families and community members packed into a cooperative art space to celebrate their accomplishments over the past two weeks. Each student received a certificate of completion, and the ceremony included singing, dancing and student presentations highlighting what they learned and sharing their visions for a better community.

This program would not have been possible without the support of generous and dedicated individuals and organizations. We would like to extend a thank you to Yvelyne Germain McCarthy from Haitian Association for Human Development, Evens Mevoit from Mejham, Bon Samaritain School, Bruno Menard Germain and our many Indiegogo donors who believed in One Bird’s mission of increasing opportunities for youth expression through the arts.

First day continued

First day with the cameras.  We took pictures in the schoolyard and the classroom.  After showing examples of photographs taken by some of our other groups in Dharamshala and New Orleans we discussed composition:  holding the camera vertical or horizontal; using high level, low level and eye level; framing and distance.

About One Bird

One Bird is dedicated to community arts programs that work with children, in collaboration with their families and communities. Using photography, writing, mixed media and emerging technologies, we teach our participants tangible skills that will assist them in sharing their stories and conveying their perspective, identity and culture.

One Bird works closely with existing community organizations to increase community involvement and support project sustainability. Joint ventures allow relationships to form with other organizations who have a similar mission.
One Bird builds upon the success of The New Orleans Kid Camera Project, which addresses the emotional and psychological impacts of Hurricane Katrina on youth returning home to New Orleans. Participants are taught tangible artistic and technical skills; providing young people a forum with which to express themselves to an international audience.

Our work with kids in New Orleans consistently proves the power of our approach. The very act of creating is empowering and exciting, especially for people who have limited access to artistic tools. Documenting their experiences, and writing on a weekly basis allows participants to share their stories and express themselves.

(One Bird in Haiti)
Our first day. 


(One Bird in Haiti)

Our first day. 

One Bird in Haiti

One Bird co-founders Ariya Martin and Tara Malik, in partnership with the Haitian Association for Human Development and Mejham, traveled to Haiti in the summer of 2012 for the second international One Bird program. Alongside photographer and educator, Aubrey Edwards, One Bird exceeded the expected capacity and worked with 56 students, ages 10-16. The workshops took place at Picardo school and Splendeur, a Save the Children funded school, both in the Carrefour area of Port-Au-Prince called Riviere Froide. This neighborhood is the childhood home of Haitian Association President and University of New Orleans Professor Yvelyne Germain McCarthy. In following with the One Bird mission of partnering with existing community programs, One Bird was guided by Prof. Germain McCarthy in establishing a partnership with a local youth empowerment organization, Mejham to encourage community investment and program sustainability.

Participants used Canon Rebel DSLRs and Flip video cameras to document the area around the school and take portraits of one another. Each student reflected on their photographs and experiences in their own handmade journals and attended a field trip to MUPANAH (Musee du Pantheon National Haitien) and Pquet beach, a first time trip for the majority of students. Their artwork and accomplishments were celebrated at a closing ceremony with family and community members, which included student performances and a graduation ceremony, where each of the 56 students and 6 translators received a One Bird photography certificate.

A special thank you to: Yvelyne Germain McCarthy, Mejham Director Evens Mevoit, translators Bruno Menard Germain, Benjamin Sadrack, Indry Marco Mevoit, Steeven Louis, Yvens Josué, Frantz Maxi, as well as Bony for supplying us with coffee, car rides and Cremas!  And of course, to the funders and supporters of One Bird for making this project possible.

  1. Our Hall  Our hall is big and in it there are many statues of Gods.  The photo is H.H. the Dalai Lama. He is the leader of our country.  He is very kind and he likes to help others.  Long live the Dalai Lama.
  2. Natural Environment  I like nature and my favorite color is green.  In the beginning nature was so clean, serene and gorgeous.  Everything green grew up very naturally.  Nature, the animals and earth could exist peacefully.  Natural beauty is very crucial.  I personally like the most natural beauty.
  3. Decrease of the Environment  Nowadays the world has many changes.  There is no limitation to the evolution in the world.  Nevertheless, people are damaging our natural world too.  When the environment is damaged, there comes a lot of disease and it is a big problem in the world.
  4. The Tibetan Flag  I like this picture because it shows the Tibetan have a freedom.  So it makes me feel that Tibet will be free.  Free Tibet!
  5. Candles  The picture is after a candlelight vigil for the Tibetan people.  So people put the candles around the temple.  When I took this photo it made me miss my village in Tibet.  When I was in Tibet my village people prayed with candles in front of God every morning.  Also, Tibetans use candles for peace and anniversaries.  So I love it very much.
  6. Indian Family  This picture is of an Indian family.  He is a grandfather and he wears traditional clothes. He always wears them.  On his left is a woman.  She is his son’s wife.  She has two children.  She keeps her head covered with cloth because she never shows her face to the grandfather.  It is part of Indian culture.  
  7. Om Mani Pad Me Hom  This is an om mani prayer wheel.  It is filled with thousands of avalokteshvara mantras. By turning this wheel once a person earns merit equal to the recitation of the mantras filled inside this wheel.  Kindly turn it clockwise.  May all beings find peace and happiness.  It is my favorite.  
  8. Homeless Dogs  These dogs are homeless and everybody can see these animals around Dharamsala.  They don’t have any property but they don’t have any tension.  They are always overjoyed. Westerners like the homeless dogs, but Indians do not like the dogs.  So the homeless dogs depend on the Tibetan society.  Some people cannot protect their houses so some dogs are better at this than human beings.  
  9. Metal House  We are the same human beings but there is a big difference between our property. Some people are living in buildings that have three or four stories and they almost have everything, but they are still not happy. They always think that they need more property. But some people are homeless and they are just living in metal houses, like this picture, which I took yesterday. They look happier and less greedy. I think that happiness is more important than property.
  10. Colorful Insect  I took this picture because I really like to take pictures of natural objects, especially this colorful insect, which we call a butterfly.  It made me happy when I saw it flying around the flowers.  It looked so beautiful and peaceful.


Tibetan Community Camera Project

One Bird: Dharamshala

In 2008 One Bird Co-founders, Joanna Rosenthal and Ariya Martin, conducted a three week photography program for Tibetan refugees living in Dharamshala, India.  One Bird partnered with Louisiana Himalaya Association and Tibetan Children’s Village Day School to offer two classes a day (one for kids age 8-11 and one for adults 18 and older).  Participants learned basic digital camera functions as well as the elements of photographic composition. Each of them were able to capture their daily lives through photographs and share their thoughts through writing.