Anjali Photo Workshops in Cambodia
The Anjali Photo Workshop is an annual photography workshop organised for the children of Anjali House, an NGO registered in France and Cambodia providing food, shelter and education to almost 125 underprivileged children in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Held annually since 2005, the workshop was started by Antoine d’Agata (Magnum Photos) and is held alongside the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops – an annual weeklong international photography festival in Siem Reap.
We believe in the power of creativity and to allow children access to various forms of self-expression. Creativity is an important tool to encourage social interaction and educational development, as well as being a proven form of therapy for mental and physical disabilities. The Anjali Photo Workshop aims to encourage each and every child’s creativity, and of course, to let them enjoy themselves and have fun!
The workshops complement the ultimate goal of Anjali House – to help the children develop into healthy, well-adjusted young adults, equipped with the skills and support to be successful in their future endeavors.
For 10 days, the children of Anjali House are given digital cameras to photograph their lives, friends, families and anything that catches their interest. They are guided by young volunteer photographers who advise them on technical knowledge and help to develop their creative skills. The children are also brought on special excursions and trips to new and fun places!
The children then share their photographs with the public on “Children’s Day”, a special day for the children which is a part of the Angkor Photo Festival.
As a non-profit initiative, we rely on the help of volunteers, and we work hard to ensure all our events and activities are kept free-of-charge.
In 2005, a group of photographers got together to promote photography and highlight humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia. It was important for them to also be able to give back and benefit the local community at the same time.
Anjali began as a one-off dance troupe, led by Sangeeta Isvaran, and a photography workshop initiated by Magnum Photos photographer Antoine d’Agata. Through these activities, the children were encouraged to away from the streets, and after a week, they performed their dance routine and exhibited their photographs to an international audience. The success of these activities gave the children a sense of empowerment, pride and a sense of personal achievement.
Galvanized by the difference that first week made, the Angkor Photo Association was inspired to expand its help, and pledged to provide education and practical support to the children and their families. After a lot of hard work, Anjali House opened its doors in 2006.
The Sanskrit word “anjali” translates to “offerings” in English. Anjali House therefore a house of offerings for local children in need. At Anjali House, the children receive free food, education and healthcare.
Additionally, the new Young Adults Program provides the young adults at Anjali with the tools, skills and knowledge necessary in entering the workforce and becoming role models.