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At the Face-to-Face Project, we believe the best way to break the cycle of poverty is to help communities rely on themselves. With partner sites in Cambodia and Malawi, we work in communities that are facing food shortages and health crises. We work with all members of the community, empowering them to join us in finding long-term sustainable solutions to the issues they face.
The Face-to-Face AIDS Project (F2F) began in 2003 as a Harvard Medical School initiative to document the AIDS pandemic in South Africa. We photographed, filmed, and interviewed scores of people, many now deceased, and presented their life stories in the U.S. to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic. To this end, we exhibited our AIDS PhotoMosaics and gave presentations at numerous universities, museums, and international conferences.
Still, we wanted to do more to help the people who’d entrusted us with their stories. We also felt our donors wanted to support projects that directly benefited the people whose stories had so moved them.
And so F2F evolved into a charity that uses its documentary experiences to reveal local economic, cultural, and societal realities, and then build on-the-ground programs that local communities take ownership of. In 2006, we moved our focus to Malawi, and added Cambodia in 2007; both places are among the most impoverished, disease-stricken countries in their respective areas. We believe that working in these similar yet very different nations informs our programming in ways that can be unique and forward-thinking. We bring together the best of our experiences in both countries to come up with programs that often challenge established methods of charity.
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