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Cameras & Film Needed to Build Relations

Instant Photos Help Win Hearts and Minds in Nawa
Marines polaroid

Afghan children gather for a picture

The Marines use instant photos as an opportunity for positive interaction with local people in Nawa, Afghanistan. This builds closer, more positive relations and makes the Marines safer and more successful. Lt. Mike Kuiper says, "Taking pictures of kids has helped them not be afraid of us, and shows we are friends. Winning over the kids makes us much more approachable by the adults too."

kuiper head_full
"The Polaroid cameras help start conversations with locals, that lead to relationships ... Taking pictures of kids has helped them not be afraid of us, and shows we are friends."

1st Lt. Mike Kuiper, U.S. Marine Corps

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Why Instant Photos Help the Marines

Afghan boy_with_polaroid
Marines Civil Affairs Captain Gus Biggio bought a Polaroid camera and film on eBay to build better relations between Marines and local people in Nawa. This worked really well (see email below) but film is expensive. We are helping Gus and his fellow Marines get the cameras and film to do this on a larger scale.

1st Lieutenant Mike Kuiper emailed us to explain: "The Polaroid cameras help start conversations with locals, that lead to relationships. I included some pictures in the previous mail to show the successes we are having. Notice how happy the people are to have a picture of themselves or their families. With an average salary of $5.00 a day, most famiies can't afford a picture of anyone in the family. They love getting pictures of themselves, and have learned to come up and ask for "atkas" or "picture" in Pashto. Taking pictures of kids has helped them not be afraid of us, and shows we are friends. Winning over the kids makes us much more approachable by the adults too."

Biggio Polaroid_1a
Photo credits: Staff Sgt. William Greeson, US Marine Corps

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This project is fully funded. Thank you.

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use-of-funds

16 Polaroid cameras and 226 packs of film were purchased in support of this project to help US troops improve relationships with local villagers.

Use of Funds

We are a 501c3 nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible. 100% of all project donations will be used for direct project expenses (i.e., purchase and shipping of the needed goods and services). We do not deduct fees or expenses for organization overhead. Those expenses are funded separately. Donations in excess of a project's need will be offered a refund.

 

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.