Hello friends! We are just about halfway through 2023 and wanted to give an update to all of our supporters and followers. We are continuing to grow thanks to your help, and we are so very grateful to you. With your aid, we were able to give free photographs and new keepsakes to families who have gone through unimaginable situations and extremely hard chapters in their lives. It was our honor to give them framed photographs to hang up on their walls and memories to cherish. Here are some specifics:
We have photographed 220 people who were refugees, immigrants, migrants, asylum seekers, humanitarian parolees, or disaster survivors.
They originated from following countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, and Ukraine.
The second half of the year will be just as busy and also include World Refugee Day celebrations in June. We look forward to sharing more of the work we do. And if you are able, please consider donating again! Every little bit helps.
The Team at Retake
"New keepsakes as you rebuild your life."
Welcome to a new year! Is it just me or does it feel like this year is flying by already? Tomorrow is February! After a wonderful holiday season and busy #GivingTuesday, our team started the year with a board meeting. We welcomed a new board member and planned what this year could like.
I kicked off the new year by heading down to Tampa, Florida where I currently am. I'll be working here for the next couple of weeks, and it's been a beautiful location to start 2023.
Myself and the team at Retake are planning a full year of photoshoots and travel, and I can't wait to share with you all what's in the works.
Aside from having sunshine and warm weather, Tampa has a lot to offer! There are so many families in the community that we can work with, and we are thrilled to be partnering with an organization called RAMWI. RAMWI stands for Refugee and Migrant Women Initiative. Their mission is to enhance the lives of refugee and migrant women in the community by providing an opportunity to heal, engage with others while learning the skills necessary to become self-sustainable, organize, and advocate for themselves.
We already worked with them at the end of January at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus. Four families from Afghanistan came out dressed to impress and ready for new family portraits.
As we look towards the rest of the year, there are a lot of places we want to go and photographs we want to give. Here's what we have planned so far:
Thank you for supporting our work. We are able to give free portraits through our dignified photoshoots to refugees, migrants, immirants, displaced people, asylum seekers, and those who have survived disasters because of your donations and because you are a part of our community.
Hi all! Happy December. This is what's been going on with Retake since this summer. Thank you for your continued support!
In September, our director went to rural parts of northeast India in collaboration with another nonprofit that is based in our headquarters in North Carolina: Homes of Hope India. They build schools, orphanages, and hostels for at-risk young girls who are often marginalized the most. They are able to attend school and get the care they need. She visited five different locations to meet the girls, take photographs for fundraising purposes, and hear their stories. While she couldn't give them framed family portraits, she was able to give over 150 Polaroid photographs so all the kids could own their first printed photograph of themselves with their closest friends. It aligned with our mission of giving keepsakes in the form of photographs to those who are going through hardships.
In October, we photographed numerous locations around the state of North Carolina including Greensboro and Raleigh. We gave family portraits to resettled refugee families originally from Burundi, Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
We also had the opportunity to go to the Texas/Mexico border for a few days with the National Immigration Forum and We Welcome organizations. They partnered with Abara, a local group on the ground that does border encounters and helps navigate the convulted world of the border crisis. We were able to meet families at border shelters on both sides of the border, cross into Juarez, Mexico, visit the UNHCR office in Mexico, meet with Border Patrol, and so much more. The families we met were fleeing unimaginable situations and conflict from countries all over Central/South America and the Caribbean. Again, similiar to our time in India, we couldn't photograph the families and give them framed portraits, but we could take instant Polaroid photos that printed on the spot. We photographed over 50 families at shelters in both countries. The kids called it magic when the image of their family appeared. We look forward to going back and giving joy to as many families as possible in that small way. We encourage everyone to learn more about the border crisis and offer support to those just trying to survive. Their stories are incredibly sad, hard to hear, impossible to imagine, and heartbreaking.
In November, we traveled again to Washington, DC to work with Lutheran Social Services and offer free photos to families in the area. We always enjoy working with their team and meeting the families in the area. That is a partnership we look forward to continuing!
At the end of November, it was #GivingTuesday. Thank you to everyone who supported us, especially through this platform. We appreciate your support and the GlobalGiving team for helping us raise funds.
We have a very exciting upcoming year with projects across the United States, and hopefully some international locations as well. Your support means even more families who are refugees/immigrants/migrants/asylum seekers/survivors of disaster or conflict will be able to receive free family portraits and keepsakes to cherish and pass down to future generations. Thank you again.
Hello friends. This has been our busiest time of year, and thanks in part to your support, we've been able to offer our free services to even more families.
In May, our director went to London to connect with refugee and immigrant families through partner oganizations and to see one of our board of directors. One amazing organization that we worked with is called Migrateful. They hire refugees/immigrants/migrants as chefs and they offer cooking classes that highlight foods from their home countries. It's a great way for them to make their own indepent income and also share a bit of their culture.
June centered around World Refugee Day. Not only did we attend numerous celebrations as a vendor across the state of North Carolina (where we are based), but we also held our own event. It was a wonderful time to celebrate refugee stories, connect with new families, and meet new potential partner organizations.
A good chunk of July and August, we were in the Washington, DC/Virginia/Maryland areas. One of our community partners is Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area who have offices across the region. We offered four different photoshoot events to families they represent. Our director also took a trip to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from Washington, DC and worked with refugee families represented by Church World Services - Harrisburg.
Between May - August, we photographed 29 different families and groups from the following home countries: Nigeria, Ukraine, Syria, Eritrea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, and Venezuela.
Thank you for your support. We could not give these families the gifts of new portraits if we didn't have your help.
Since our last report in January, we have had quite a bit happening. Our headquarters is in North Carolina, and we travel extensively across the state working with communities. We offer free family photos and portraits to people who have lost their homes and belongings due to disasters or conflict; the majority of who we photograph are refugees, immigrants, migrants, humanitarian parolees, asylum seekers, and displaced people.
We have given free portraits to numerous refugee families who originally come from Afghanistan, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their stories have been heartwrenching and awe-inspiring. The Afghan families were still very fresh with their experiences of being humanitiarn parolees and in emergency mode, the Syrian families left their homes a decade ago and have been waiting in countries such as Jordan and Kurdistan to be relocated, and the Congolese families have been on this journey for twenty years. Each family had a unique situation, and we were honored to hear them all.
In mid-April, our director visited Puerto Rico and worked within the community in San Juan. She met with connections at the Red Cross chapter there and was able to photograph a family who lost everything from recent flooding. She had local supporters on the ground offer to help as guides/translators/drivers, which is a necessity on the island. It was a wonderful first introduction to life there, and we are very excited to have an on-going presence helping the massive amount of families who have endured disaster after disaster.
We have so much we want to do and communities we want to work with, and we need continued support to make it a reality. We are grateful for the donations we have received so far, but we need more in order to help more families. Thank you for following along and stay tuned for more!
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