A Photography Lesson with a Difference – Polaroid Cameras for CITW Rwanda


Josephine Bestic


Photography has a special way of connecting us with the world. Not surprisingly, smart phones are created with better and better cameras. We all want to be able to share those special moments from our day, or vacation.It was with this in mind that in 2021 The Journey Designed (TJD) founders Michell Karam and Dennis Stever took a trip with a load of Polaroid cameras to share the equipment and a photography lesson with Children in the Wilderness (CITW) students in Rwanda.

"What fantastic memories Michelle and Dennis created – and for many of the children, the first ever photographs of their own "

CITW was thrilled to be able to share this very special day with the children in P5 and P6 at one of its partner schools in the country: Akayange Primary School, situated in the village closest to Akagera National Park, where Wilderness Magashi is located.

With permission from the Ministry of Education and the district leaders, the whole afternoon was devoted to extra-curricular learning. A group of 75 students from the highest classes at the primary school were invited to take part in the activities. The students were divided into three groups of 25, and rotated through activities of photography, drawing hand-crafted thank-you cards, and outside physical exercise.

The lesson started with an introduction to the basics of photography, and an explanation on how to use a Polaroid camera. TJD provided the cameras, and all the film. From there the groups were divided into smaller numbers and accompanied by a teacher. The children could now experiment and start taking their own pictures.

They were amazed by the Polaroid cameras and how the photos came out immediately. Everybody had their turn, and all the children were able to take home at least four of the pictures that they took.

In addition to the photography lesson, Michelle and Dennis also donated six soccer balls to the school.

We have just announced our 2022 Wilderness Safaris Africa in Focus Photography Competition, and are delighted to note that CITW will again be our beneficiary. All proceeds from the competition will go to the programme’s Eco-Clubs and Eco-Mentor training, to help continue CITW’s impact throughout Africa.

Enter the Africa in Focus competition...

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