This month we are celebrating it is 7 years ago that FairMail founder Janneke Smeulders took her camera to Trujillo’s garbage dump for the first time to take pictures with the local Peruvian teenagers. “At that time I only wanted to let the teenagers have fun with my camera as I noticed their interest in camera’s while volunteering there.”
But back home in her restaurant it didn’t feel right to teach the teenagers a new hobby which they would never have the money for to practice on their own. Plus it didn’t seem to contribute to solving the problem these teenagers where facing which was not having the time nor the money to go to school.
As the pictures that came out of the first session where so good it inspired Janneke to print the best ones on post cards. She could sell them to tourists coming to her vegetarian restaurant and give 50% of the profit back to the teenager who took the picture to invest in their own education.
Without having any idea what would have become of her idea today, 7 years later: A multi-national fair trade company employing 50 teenagers in 3 countries, selling 500.000 cards per year in 10 different countries.
With this info graphic we have tried to illustrate FairMail’s development and milestones over the past 7 years:
We also asked the teenagers to share with us what their best memories where the past 7 years and what they hope for in the next 7 years. This is what they wrote down (click on the picture to see in large format):