World Vision Presents the Hope Moment photography exhibit in support of the
Southwestern Ontario Campaign for Children

KITCHENER, ON, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Residents of Southwestern Ontario are invited to attend a one-night-only photo exhibit of the candid moments of hope and despair of children living in Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and South America.

The exhibit, featuring the work of World Vision photographer, Alyssa Bistonath, is in support of the Southwestern Ontario Campaign for Children, which launched on October 5, 2009. World Vision is inviting people from Southwestern Ontario to sponsor a child. The goal is to find sponsors for 1,500 children by November 30, 2009.

    
    WHAT:          The Hope Moment photography exhibit

    WHEN:          6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Monday, November 9.

    WHERE:         The Children's Museum
                   10 King Street West
                   Kitchener, ON

    INTERVIEWEES:  Alyssa Bistonath, World Vision photographer

                   Dave MacDonald, CTV Southwestern Ontario (He recently
                   travelled to El Salvador with World Vision).

                   Michael Messenger, Vice President, Public Affairs,
                   World Vision

                   Admission is free. Refreshments will be served
    

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit WorldVision.ca.

Child sponsorship aims to empower communities to find solutions to local problems, and thereby better enable families to provide for their children. World Vision works in partnership with communities through sustainable development projects such as water and sanitation, agricultural training, small loans for business development and HIV and AIDS education and prevention.

More than 30,000 residents in Southwestern Ontario are World Vision sponsors supporting more than 35,000 children overseas. However, the need is great and there are tens of thousands of children worldwide waiting to be sponsored.

Photographer's Statement:

Regardless of where I travel and whom I meet, I've discovered a common gleam in the eyes of many of the children I photograph. I've begun to call this gleam the "hope moment". I see it when talking to boys in South Africa talk about football, I see it when little girls in Ethiopia talk about a better future, I see it when orphans talk about a new home or when siblings give each other that trusting look amongst strangers. Each of these children represents a community that has been transformed by a wealth of care and support from World Vision and its partners.

Yet, I've also seen the opposite look: the "moment before hope", the despondency a child feels when, for an instant or more, all hopes have slipped out of grasp. The desperation we all feel when faced with uncertainty. These moments are common too, and the tension in them very real. As a photographer, I am constantly challenged to speak to these extremes in the most compelling way possible. Frame after frame I move left to right, peaking up from behind the camera to capture their gaze.

How can we tell such an important story in one precious click? It can flicker in and out of someone's eyes in a mere moment. I've learned that hope in any measure can be a lasting lifeline. So I search for that perfect shot depicting hope or its painful absence, praying that it will inspire others to go and seek the "hope moment" for themselves and for the children we've been charged with helping.

    
                                                           -Alyssa Bistonath
    

About Alyssa Bistonath, World Vision Photographer:

Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based photographer Alyssa Bistonath's fascination with images, narrative, poetry and pursuit of social justice are the guiding force behind her impressive body of work. Since completing her BFA in New Media at Ryerson University, Alyssa's photos have appeared in many high-profile publications, including the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine, the Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward, and Eye Weekly. Most recently, she took a Grand Prize in the year-long Show Your Ontario photo competition, and led photography workshops for at-risk children in Toronto's Regent Park and in Kisumu, Kenya. Alyssa's extensive travels have led to some of her most extraordinary work: she has travelled to Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, and El Salvador with World Vision. To date, Antarctica is the only continent she's never set foot on.

www.alyssabistonath.com

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: to view exhibit photos online, or to arrange an interview, contact: Jessica Parker, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2152, (416) 881-0732 (cell), Jessica_Parker@WorldVision.ca; To sponsor a child, call 1-877-34-CHILD (24453) or visit www.WorldVision.ca/Ontario.


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