History and Evolution of Clarke Photography Challenge (CPC)
2006: Jack and Barbara Clarke went on a study tour with then Christian Children's Fund (now ChildFund) to Brazil to see the work that they were doing. Jack and Barb had been long-time sponsors of CCF. At the completion of the tour, they approached the tour leader, Gary Duncan of CCF, with a request to do hands-on volunteer work with CCF. They were anxious to give with their time and talent. Knowing of Jack's love of photography, Gary suggested a photography program in the Commonwealth of Dominica. And so it began...
2009: The first photography classes took place in the village of Grand Bay, Commonwealth of Dominica. At the conclusion of the course there was an exhibition of the children's best work, attended by then-president Nicholas Liverpool. After the program was completed, the Clarkes were able to connect with a local photographer in Dominica, Irvin Durand, who continued the program. The Clarkes returned twice to teach alongside Mr. Durand as well. To date, some 300 youths in Dominica have participated in the CPC course. One young man, Denzel Matthews, wrote in his final evaluation that the course had helped him change his life direction, and he veered away from a path of crime and violence to be a mentor to other youth in his community. The Clarkes sponsored Denzel to come to New York City and speak at the United Nations on child poverty in 2009.
2012: Jack and Barbara were vacationing at Hacienda Zuleta in Ecuador in a very small and remote community in the Andes mountains. They met with the manager of the Hacienda, Fernando Polanco, the grandson of past president Galo Plaza Lasso. Mr. Polanco runs the Fundacion Galo Plaza Lasso, dedicated to helping improve the lives of the people living in the community of Zuleta. After Fernando learned of the Clarkes' work in Dominica, he suggested they bring the course to Zuleta. And so it continued...
January 2013: The Clarkes returned to Zuleta and taught a two-week photography course to 10 students, with the assistance of a translator. At the conclusion of the course, an exhibition was held in the community and attended by many of the people who lived there. The Clarkes have returned to Zuleta for more classes and mini workshops over the years.
Additional partners and course include:
The United Methodist Family Services of Richmond, VA (August 2014)
Save the Children in Far Rockaways, New York (July 2014) and the Dominican Republic (January 2015)