In 2009, Chesler created a program with purpose, launching the nonprofit organization in South Florida at SOS Children's Villages with 8 teens, 8 point and shoot cameras and Chesler's instruction on how to create art with a camera, as she does as a Fine Art Photographer.
The children CFKF works with are "at risk" and reside in residential foster facilities. They are victims of circumstances having been taken away from their family and the only home and security they know. They were placed in state care due to abuse and or abandonment by the adults they love and trust.
A photograph represents many things to many people. To a foster child,
their camera becomes their voice. It allows them a productive means of self expression as well as a way to see beauty in a world that has been less than safe or fair to them.
Chesler feels there is a level of creativity in all of us, and CFKF will open these doors for the kids and allow them to see their own potentials where they may not have otherwise had such an opportunity. The program is a gift for life where they will forever "see" at a higher level; offering them the luxury to see all beauty in life regardless of their surroundings.
Through the CFKF program the teens are the beneficiaries of developing their personal artistic expression through the cameras lens. The program encompasses weekly workshops and assignments teaching basic concepts of art and photography. The purpose is to be fun, educational, challenging and engaging, and exposes their mind's eye to the fundamentals of art, while building the child's self esteem and self confidence. The skill set that is gained as a result, will allow the teens to pursue potential career paths that utilize photography and design.
Chesler feels the most rewarding moments have been when the children are proud of their accomplishments, which is seen each time the teens Fine Art Photography is exhibited and they speak about how the program has made a difference in their life and will perhaps in their future.
In it's first two years, CFKF has expanded from Florida to Los Angeles, Chicago, NYC and Atlanta. Facilities from around the US have expressed an interest in bringing the CFKF program to their children, and presently there is a wait list to begin each location. The foundation raises funds to purchase cameras and provide each enthusiastic and deserving child with this wonderful opportunity. Chesler has also been touched and overwhelmed by the response of professional photographers reaching out to volunteer their time to teach the program in their cities and countries.
Cameras For Kids Foundation is sure to become an international organization making a difference in the lives of foster children around the globe. Chesler also looks forward to having all of her children worldwide share their work with each other via webcasts in the future.
For further information go to: www.camerasforkidsfoundation.org. CFKF thanks you for your interest and support.
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Cameras For Kids Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit org. providing cameras and weely classes to underprivileged chidren living in foster facilities across the USA. The program teaches how to create art with a camera, promoting self esteem/confidence.