Free Portraits 2014 - New Jerusalem Children's Home [25Oct]

Adv. Anna Mojapelo, CEO of NJCH happy dancing and laughing

On the 25th October 2014; New Jerusalem Children’s Home enjoyed and celebrated a day with Ubuntu Help-Portrait, am organisation guided by a simple, all-encompassing, yet radical mission: to help raise Port Elizabeth’s orphaned and vulnerable children by giving them what all children deserve—everything –

A day well spent in giving our children a simple smile, joy and fun as the flashlight – camera was capturing inner joy shown and heard by the great laughter as they missed steps and poses, children showing others best jumps to beautify moments.


A movement of volunteers using photography to give back, for free, to people and organisations in needy communities!

5 years ago, the Johannesburg-based group responded to achallenge by Jeremy Cowart, a celebrity photographer in the US, to “go out, find someone in need, take their picture, print it and give it to them for free”. Today the group has over 300 volunteers in Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Vaal Triangle, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Grahamstown, Cape Town and Swaziland and it has given thousands of portraits to people across the South African Rainbow nation. It is also part of a global movement that is now represented in over 60 countries by over 30,000 volunteers! Ubuntu Help-Portrait is the 2nd largest Help-Portrait group in the world and it leads in having given the most number of portraits to date.

At its heart, Help-Portrait is simple – to give the gift of a free printed portrait to someone in need. Volunteers use their time, skill and equipment for free. A key aspect of this initiative is that the portraits are taken and printed for free and they are not used in any published or commercial manner whatsoever. This is about giving something back – giving back joy through photographs – to people in less fortunate communities.

The South African Free Portraits experience

Ubuntu Help-Portrait volunteers have successfully given over 56,000 portraits at over 320 events in the past five years.

In 2013 alone, it gave over 19,000 portraits [up from over 16,000 in 2012] representing, for another consecutive year, the largest proportion of the global total number of portraits for that year!
Orphaned and vulnerable babies, toddlers and children, the disabled, the homeless and the elderly are the primary beneficiaries.

Over several weeks beginning in August, volunteers will head out to take portraits – spreading Help-Portrait joy – leading up to the global Help-Portrait day which, this year, will be on Saturday, 6 December 2014.

The 4PBO initiative

The 4PBO initiative is the way in which Ubuntu Help-Portrait extends giving back, for free, to charities and public benefit organisations.

Through this, it offers free photography services at events and functions hosted by PBOs that serve people in needy communities. For example, this initiative has covered numerous events for Stop Hunger Now SA and provided thousands of images that can be freely downloaded and used as part of communicating their goal of eradicating hunger in schools!
Developing people

In 2011, Ubuntu Help-Portrait initiated PhotoStar, a project sponsored by the College of Digital Photography and Nikon South Africa through which six candidates, from disadvantaged backgrounds, currently receive sponsored equipment and tuition as part of their development towards becoming self-employed photographers.

100% volunteer-driven, 100% free

All aspects and initiatives of Ubuntu Help-Portrait are undertaken and managed 100% by volunteers who use their time, skill and equipment for free. Portraits and services are also given 100% free to beneficiaries. It’s all about giving back – giving back for free.

See pictures


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