Now available: Ruth & Isaac by Adrian Kuipers as a limited edition!
This photo Ruth & Isaac was awarded at Pia D’or, Prix de la Photografie Paris, International Photographer Of The Year and Shoot The Frame.CLICK TO VIEW THE EDITIONS
About Ruth & Isaac
Ruth and Isaac live in a slum in Lusaka, Zambia. Isaac (behind) is Ruth’s best friend. They play together, go to school together and he protects her when needed. Albino children in Africa are often targeted because witch doctors say their bodies can cure diseases. Besides this, there is even a bigger problem; The African Sun. Since albinos don’t have any pigment, their skin is not protected against the sun and most African albinos die young because of skin cancer.
Ruth was in need of help
Ruth & Isaac are part of a school supported by Orange Babies. This is why I met Ruth during one of my trips for Orange Babies.
After I heard the story of Ruth, I really wanted to photograph her with her best friend Isaac, who protects her when needed.
Unfortunately, Ruth’s parents couldn’t provide her the sun protection she needed. And yes, she really needed it, you can already see some spots on her face that shouldn’t be there. The African sun is so intense, and without pigment, the chance of getting skin cancer is very very very high.
Making the choice
On my flight back, I was thinking about her situation. Thoughts were going through my mind like “I am already doing so much for others” and “I can not save the whole world.” But luckily the angel on my right shoulder also talked to me, and she didn’t need so much time to convince me to think “f*ck it, I don’t know yet how, but I am going to help her.”
I spoke to a specialist in UV products (You & UV), and she said the best way to help her is by providing a protection package every year until she is an adult. This means sunscreen, special cloth washing fluid, sunglasses, hats, and custom made clothes. This is what we needed, next thing is the money.
Since I had a creative agency for 10 years, the first thing I did when I came back to Europe was brainstorm and make a plan.Of course, I can just ask people: “Hey, can you give me money to help Ruth from Zambia?” That method I just don’t like. Maybe I can create something that is giving something back to the people. So I came up with the plan to make an a4 card, folded to a5. On the outsides, the portrait of Ruth & Isaac beautifully printed, and on the inside, the information about Ruth. I also wrote on the inside: “Please take this photo card home in exchange for a donation to your liking. You can cut this card in half and frame it. The second half you can give away to friends or family to tell them you support Ruth and to ask them if they also like to help.” On this way I worked on a chain reaction and a reason to talk about my project.
And it worked! We collected the amount of money we needed. For the full story about this campaign and the story about visiting her the second time: click here