Benjamin Rondel

While in Kenya for the PhotoSensitive AIDS project, Benjamin Rondel saw many girls (only girls) walking for miles, and for many hours, with water containers on their heads. Their responsibilities for such chores and for being the primary care givers to children and grandchildren came at a price: their education.

One day, Benjamin saw a large group of school kids walking along the side of the road, going home from school. He asked the driver to stop and interpret for him: he wanted only the girls to pose for him. The boys looked confused, but the girls were smiling. In part, in his own quiet way, he wanted to empower them.

Benjamin saw the difference sponsorships had on the lives of youth, and he decided it was time to stop thinking about it, that it was time to act. Upon his return, he started and continues to sponsor girls in Kenya through a few NGOs. Empowering and educating them could be the key to a better future for them and their communities. “This trip changed me more than any other I have taken,” says Benjamin.

A freelance photographer since 1980, Toronto based Benjamin Rondel shoots stock for the largest agencies, such as Getty and Corbis, as well as personal projects for Fine Art. Currently he is shooting long-term projects in Saskatchewan and Cuba. Recently his project My Father’s Lists was published in PrefixPhoto issue number 26. Benjamin is a founding member of PhotoSensitive.