Kate Cummings

Kate Cummings (Vital Voices in Kenya): Kate was born in the North Carolina mountains, and received her BFA in photography at Sewanee (The University of the South) in 2004. Kate co-founded a meditation group at the Hampshire County Jail in North Carolina where she led meditation sessions with inmates each week. Upon graduation, Kate was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. This allowed her to spend a year photographing in India, Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, and France. During this year, she photographed Zen Master and international peacemaker Thich Nhat Hanh's first return to Vietnam since his exile 39 years before. Her images were published internationally. She returned to Vietnam in 2007 with Nhat Hanh and his International Peace Delegation to photograph healing ceremonies. Kate moved to western Massachusetts and began teaching photography to at-risk girls. At the time of her fellowship, Kate was studying for her master’s degree at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston. After her fellowship, Kate wrote: “Best experience? This is an impossible question! I think, that by spending so much time with Kenyans in their homes and families and in the community setting… I gained a deep understanding of their successes and their significant challenges...I look at myself now as having the potential to be as strong and caring as the amazing women I met in Kenya.”

Beatrice’s Story

24 Jul

I am disturbing the chronology of events in favor of telling you a little more now about the IDP camp and the youth mentoring program.  I have collected stories from mothers, fathers, young sisters, older brothers – all of which I want to share with you.  I am, however, leaving most every form of technology for about a month, traveling to southern Kenya where I’ll be living and working with the Masai and the wonderful Kakenya Ntaiya.  I promise to reconnect intermittently during this time, and I’ll slip back into the proper order of events as soon as possible – returning to Nakuru and the youth there, and revisiting the camp when I’ve sewn up the holes in my notes.  Before I go, I wanted to share with you an interview from the camp, with fifteen year-old Beatrice.  I’ve left the interview bare and without much besides her voice and the subtitles – this choice seemed natural, as her story is enough.


Beatrice Wangoi talks about her life at Lelmolok IDP Camp and how Ripe for Harvest’s Youth Mentoring Program has affected her life.

Posted By Kate Cummings

Posted Jul 24th, 2009

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