13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Sustainable Travel
My time

This photo won the Sustainable Travel category of our 13th Annual Photo Contest. See all of the winners and finalists here.

In February and March of 2014, I took a month off and went to work as a photographer/videographer in an orphan school in Likoni, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Mombasa, Kenya. My videos and pictures helped raise money to finish the building of the school for 150 children and a sleeping building for 30 orphan kids. This is the school director's daughter on her break, while at school.

I took one month off because it was my time to give back again. It was my second volunteering project, after a month in Peru working with local knitters the year before. I used my photos and videos to promote their cause on [the organization’s] website and Facebook page, which I was taking care of. The main goal at that particular moment was to gather enough means to finish the new buildings, which would be able to accommodate their needs.

My experience was great, they are amazing people and took me as a part of the family and community. We still keep in touch, and I am proud I was able to help out.

When you travel sustainably, you find a place that gives you something, that makes you whole. But you also feel more than happy to give back. Both the place and you need a change. It is your job to find a way to make it work in unison. Usually, it is not you that is making the big change in the place though, it is the other way around.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Likoni, Mombasa, Kenya
Camera: SLT-A77V
Copyright: © Tihomir Trichkov