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Project Lights, Camera, Action

$1,300 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 10 months
For the FULL story, CLICK HERE!

Who: The purpose of Project Lights, Camera, Action is to aid in caring for, fostering, and educating children in China through the arts. In this endeavor performing and visual arts are utilized because the arts are limitless tools that are capable of helping each Uighur child strive for higher, not just what is directly in front of them, especially targeting the children who live in the deserted and isolated areas of Xinjiang. 

Why: The Uighur are a Turkic ethnic group who primarily live in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. The majority of Uighur cannot speak Chinese and their children are often uneducated and ignorant of the Chinese mores. This causes them to be unable to assimilate into the life of China due to language and cultural barriers.

To many of the Han Chinese, the Uighur are seen as the terrorists of China. The status as a minority group in China is further emphasized by the risings tensions in the relationship with the Uighur. Though the last uprising in Xinjiang occurred in July, 2009, there have been various terrorist type attacks outside of Xinjiang and the increasing tension along the border seemingly involving ISIS supporters has caused further trouble for the innocent civilians living in the region.

Through monetary and/or camera donations, Project Lights, Camera, Action will present the Uighur children a chance to see and appreciate their daily living in an artistic way. With this opportunity, these children will be able to be aspired and to cultivate a love for visual arts and promote their critical thinking skills. 
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A little boy, Rumiti (right), sat tall in the first row. His smile shined brightly every time I talked to him and called on him to answer a lesson question. He was the oldest of five sons in his household. Once, he said, he had a sister, but she was not big enough to live for very long. Promising to bring me some of his homegrown apricots, Rumiti told me that he loved to come to school and learn the Chinese language. “Now,” he added, “I can even learn America’s language!”
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What: Project Lights, Camera, Action is looking for working and lightly-used digital cameras with battery charger, SD card, and all other accessories and monetary donation of any size

How: The funding covers the entire trip's transporation costs (airfare from Houston to Hotan, China, including three connecting flights and living expenses) along with the supplies for the children living in the isolated and seemingly unknown areas of Xinjiang. 

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own," (Benjamin Disraeli)

Your support to this cause will be greatly beneficial to the children even beyond our knowledge!

If you are interested in donating a camera, please email me at LCAproject@yahoo.com with your name and a way to contact you. 

Please donate and pass this page along to your friends, family, coworkers and community members.


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Imagine a region....
 
Close your eyes and imagine a desert-like region, largely dry and hot, a land right next to the Taklamakan Desert. A land where deserts coexist with snowy pastures, exuberant orchards go with unique homemade dry bread; varieties of nationalities accompanied by different languages and religious belief; modern development contrasts with extreme poverty; hospitable gatherings of beautiful singing, dancing and instrument playing versus hostile separation ambushed at some dark corners. A land with soldiers dressed in the army green uniform and fully-equipped with guns and transparent shields everywhere. Heavily armed military, plastered with “No trespassing” and “Stay away” signs sat fenced at the entrances of malls, plazas, and even intersections. Military blockades set up in front of all buildings. Hotels, malls, grocery stores, and even small convenience stores guarded with security checkpoints at the entrance. Security ubiquitous...

This region is known as Xinjiang, China.

During the summer of 2016, in a small village school outside of Hotan, Xinjiang, I taught a small group of around thirty children, ages ranging from three to sixteen. The school was sur- rounded by large fields and covered in dust created by the surrounding Taklimakan Desert. No one knew where they lived in China, much less in the world. No one had heard of places and regions beyond China. Their only dream was to live life in a more cosmopolitan city instead of the rural village they resided in outside of Hotan. When asked their favorite subject, “Chinese” was the answer because only with that could they ever dream of reaching a place where money could be made. However, at the school they attended there were no teachers from the Han nationality to teach them Chinese.

With the help of a young Uighur college student acting as my translator, I was able to give these children a glimpse of the vast world around them and bring a little bit of Western culture to Hotan. From not knowing their location in China to knowing not only that, but also the location of China in the world along with the United States, the enthusiasm and desire to learn coruscated brightly as the days passed. Soon, they learned to sing and dance to multiple elementary English songs, recite the English alphabet, count in English, and even recognize shapes in English. Despite the fact that I could not visit their dwelling places even with an invitation because of government refusal due to my American citizenship, I still had the most aspiring stay.


I got to bond with the children I worked with on a daily basis and learned their stories. A young boy at age eight, loved playing soccer during free time. He and his friends would roam around the village for hours kicking and chasing balls. However, one evening, just after school was let out, a motor vehicle zoomed past as he was walking out and crushed his right leg. He had it cleaned and stitched and taken care of at home because his family could not afford taking him to a hospital. Every day, he sat outside and watched his friends coming home from school and playing ball, however, this time he couldn’t join. Knowing his sorrow, a faculty member donated and tried to raise funds for him to get an artificial leg. Finally, he was able to be fitted in one, however, costs did not cover his leg fitting as he grows.

Through the time spent with the children and student in the Hotan village school, I was able to learn first-hand of all the troubles the children face as Uighur. Unable to adequately learn the Chinese language prevents them from dream bigger and striving higher.


Project Lights, Camera, Action is a project I designed to promote visual arts, specifically targeting the children of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang, China. As it is my deep belief that there are no boundaries that limit the vast capabilities of visual arts, children from any social standing, from any country, from any background can grasp the opportunity presented to them.
It is definitely beyond my expectation that this year, 2016-2017, with the generous support of Bellaire High School's parents, students, and staff, Meyerland Middle School staff and students, along with Music Doing Good, I was able to collect around 50 digital cameras to take back to the region of Xinjiang for the children there to cling to as some luxury.

The cameras were finally delivered to two different schools in the autonomous region of Xinjiang after many obstacles. Two photography teams were founded in the schools to enrich the life and skill of the children there.

I sincerely hope that these children can strive to their fullest potential despite their social standing as a minority group in China because of the various things that they may lack.
I hope that the children can use the donated digital cameras to record the world through their perspective, to see the beauty of the world through their own eyes.

Contact information: LCAProject@yahoo.com

Project Lights, Camera, Action Webpage
http://theirlifethroughtheireyes.weebly.com





 
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I am very grateful that my endeavor in Xinjiang was humbly recognized by various programs and has inspired many young people in the States. I was awarded second place by 21cm.org, a nation-wide professional musician magazine platform!

The newsletter can be viewed online at http://21cm.org/magazine/special-features/2017/10/05/doing-good-the-winners/
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$1,300 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 10 months
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$200
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22 days ago
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