Teaching Photography in Kenya Curriculum Distance Learning Critique

A contact sheet of Violet's photographs from a home visit - April 2015.

Starting a Photography Program in Kenya, Part 9 – Distance Learning

There are very few “new” things in life, and I’ve been told that starting this photography program in Kenya is one of them. I don’t know if that’s totally true but in my life, and what little I know of what is going on in Africa as a whole, it makes sense to me. I have been busy with the balance of maintaining my commercial and event photography with developing training for the photography program and a long shot application for a grant to better support growing the program. Writing specific curriculum for a broader photography program that includes more students is at the top of my to do list, no small task for sure. Thankfully I have one educator friend who is willing to help with that challenge, and I’m anxious to get started, realizing I have probably a naive underestimation of what is required to complete that task. There are times this seems impossibly ambitious, but at the same time, it’s a reality, and in one way or another, this is working.

The past couple of weeks have also included meeting with Dorothy and Elina on multiple occasions as Elina prepares to travel to Alendu in continued supporting the program. Because of Violet’s drive, dedication, and broad language skills, she has become the primary focus of the program, with the goal of having her become a mentor as we train additional students. I have been reviewing Violet’s images and progress as both have been coming back in a wild array of forms, from What’s App messages to emails, phone calls, CDs, and thumb drives. Elina has been gracious enough to bring a few books, photojournalism examples, letters, and updated curriculum materials to the village. I’ve created a list of simple questions to regularly track progress and see what topics need reinforcement, to learn the local mindset so we know better how to provide support now, as well as in the future. I’m eager to follow the trip and get more feedback from Elina first hand, as well as Violet. It’s a learning process for all of us, myself (especially) included but I know they are both going to do especially well!

Teaching Photography in Kenya Curriculum Distance Learning Critique

A contact sheet of Violet’s photographs from a home visit – April 2015.

Teaching Photography in Kenya Curriculum Distance Learning

Teaching materials, letters and progress reports for the program.




Dorothy & Elina meet in Lancaster, PA, before Elina’s trip to Alendu, Kenya in July 2015 to support the photography program.




Elina is getting ready to depart for her trip, and if you’re interested in learning more about her project, you can follow her at Elina Hope Photography on Facebook. Part Eight – Meet Elina in this series also talks more about her work. Good luck Elina, thank you for joining us in this project and we all look forward to sharing in your journey!


As the photography project has come to life in Kenya, check out:

Building a Photography Curriculum in Kenya with Rafiki Africa – Part One.

Building a Photography Program in Kenya – Part Two.

Part Three – Staying the Course.

Part Four – The Journey Begins.

Part Five – Teaching Photography in Kenya, The First Week: The African Experience

Part Six – Teaching Photography in Kenya – Meet Violet

Part Seven – Living a Legacy: Daniel Mast & the Rafiki Africa Photography Program

Part Eight – A New Instructor Goes to Kenya! Meet Elina!

Part Ten – Visiting Benta’s Home with the Photography Students in Kenya – Coming Soon!