Picture Change: Paul Fletcher

by valrac4_a3kqdy
© Paul Fletcher

© Paul Fletcher

Pakistani boy amongst the earthquake ruins of his home

I was donating my photography skills to document PLAN International’s Pakistan earthquake response. With logistical support from PLAN, I traveled around the northwest province visiting places devastated by the 2005 earthquake. In one small city, completely flattened by the earthquake, I came across this young boy who, six months after the disaster, was learning to salvage a life from the destruction and loss. To this day, his face has never left my mind.

Inspired by the need of children like him, I returned home and started recruiting sponsors for Pakistan children in need. Once a dozen sponsors were signed up I returned to Pakistan with PLAN to connect through my photography, the sponsors, and the children benefiting from their support.

Unfortunately my return trip was marred by internal violence and I had to leave the area where the sponsored children lived. Later that same year the PLAN office was attacked and destroyed by extremists and PLAN left Pakistan shortly after discontinuing the sponsorships.

Since then many of my Pakistan sponsors have gone on to sponsor children in other countries, and I continue to contribute my photographic skills whenever I can to other social and environmental causes.

Photo Sensitive is a non-profit collective of photographers committed to using black-and-white photography to address social issues. PhotoSensitive’s new exhibition, Picture Change, is a Toronto-based show dedicated to highlighting the ways that photography makes a difference in the world by provoking action, reflection, or even a change in a policy or law.

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