London photographer Juozas Cernius wants to put a face on humanitarian aid.
Along with partner Anita Vizsy, Cernius, 36, has launched a fundraising campaign, hoping to garner enough money to visit countries in crisis and document the work of non-governmental organizations (NGO).
“Over the course of travelling we discovered the presence of NGOs and aid groups and became engaged with the idea of who these people were,” Cernius said.
“You never see the faces of people helping or learn about them,” added Vizsy, 33, also a Londoner. “It’s a culturally and personally challenging thing to do.”
Cernius and Vizsy hope to raise $19,000 by the end of November — enough money to send them on an adventure to Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
While abroad, they will visit regions in conflict and communities dealing with natural disaster, political unrest or poverty. In each country, they will meet with aid workers, learning their stories and photographing their journey.
After five months, they will return to Canada, creating an art exhibit, and possibly a book, featuring the people they met.
“There’s a missing bridge between the people who provide this help and the public,” Vizsy said. “We want to build this bridge and respect and honour their work.”