Health Volunteers Overseas Worldwide Photography Project

Made possible by a grant from Aircast Incorporated, Summit NJ

Photography and Production Donated by Karl Grobl

Additional sponsorship provided by
Delkin Devices,
Minds at Work,
and the
Aircast Western Region Sales force.

The outcome of this photographic project will be HVO’s ability to increase public awareness of global health issues, and to showcase the benefits which their volunteers and programs provide.

Because HVO program sites are distanced from viewers who occupy a totally different, more privileged socio-economic stratum, this visual documentation will fulfill a fundamental educative role.

Upon completion of this project, the resulting library of images will provide HVO useful material which, when published, will help inform, inspire and motivate individuals and corporations to support HVO through donations and volunteerism.

One Historical Example… From 1935 to 1943, photographers working for the federal government produced enduring images of the Great Depression. Photographers worked to illustrate the impact of hard times on the nation, primarily on rural Americans. This project, as historian Alan Trachtenberg noted, "was perhaps the greatest collective effort in the history of photography to mobilize resources to create a cumulative picture of a place and time." Many of the photographs were distributed to newspapers and magazines in an effort to build support for Roosevelt and his New Deal's rural programs. As photographer Arthur Rothstein recalled, "It was our job to document the problems of the Depression so that we could justify the New Deal legislation that was designed to alleviate them." “We endeavored to introduce Americans to America” said photographer Roy Stryker. “We had a specific audience in mind: middle-class Americans who lived in cities far from the locales depicted in the photographs, and who comprised the vast majority of the readers of the newspapers and magazines in which the pictures were displayed”. The images presented rural subjects in ways that middle-class viewers could recognize and sympathize with.

Attempting to overcome fears about the disorder provoked by the depression, photographers chose poses and points of view that emphasized their subjects' dignity, orderliness, and responsibility in the face of hardship. The images had a profound impact on contemporary viewers. "These pictures impress one as the real life of a vast section of the American people," commented one viewer. It was a remark that summarized the overwhelming public reaction.

Three generations after their creation, the photographs remain the basis for Americans' visual understanding of the Great Depression and have set a standard for subsequent documentary photography. Photographs such as Dorothea Lange's 1936 portrait "Migrant Mother" and Walker Evans's 1936 series depicting the faces and homes of Alabama sharecroppers have become icons of the era. These pictures in their directness and simplicity recorded the conditions of poverty while also celebrating the persistent human spirit of survival in even the most difficult of circumstances.

This project strives for similar goals in so much as we feel compelled to tell the HVO story..

Primary objectives of this project:

To create a database of compelling imagery which documents, describes and showcases HVO’s work worldwide

To help increase awareness of global health issues and assist in the promotion of HVO’s mission
to “Improve Global Health Through Education.”

To inform, inspire, arouse and motivate people towards volunteerism and / or financial support for HVO.

To demonstrate via photographs, the conditions, facilities and personnel on location where volunteers will work and live.

To create compelling images as tangible evidence which demonstrates the beneficial work that HVO volunteers
are doing around the world.


Work will begin in February 2002 and will have three phases:

Phase 1 Africa: South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Phase 2 Asia/Pacific/Eastern Europe: Bangladesh, Philippines, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Moldova.

Phase 3 South America/Caribbean Belize, Brazil, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname, Peru, Honduras.

This project will benefit from the use of the latest professional digital imaging equipment:

2 Nikon D1X Professional digital SLRs Nikon 17-35 mm f 2.8 zoom lens
Nikon 80-200mm f 2.8 zoom lens, 2 Nikon SB28DX flashes
2.5 gigs of Delkin e-Film Compact Flash
Minds at Work 20 gig Digital Wallet (to back up images)


Target for completion: October 2002
Expected number of usable images 1500 – 2000