It’s that time of year! Shine Global’s annual auction is here with one of a kind experiences and gifts you can’t find anywhere else. And these gifts are extra special– not only are you getting that once in a lifetime experience but you are helping Shine Global fulfill our mission of ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through the production of inspiring films and media that shine a light on unknown stories and share the voices of unheard children.
This year’s auction takes place on CharityBuzz.com from now until Monday, December 19th – so hurry! You can win one-of-a-kind experiences with your favorite celebrities, luxury travel, access to VIP events, exclusive set visits and much more!
This auction is made possible by the generous donations of companies that support Shine Global’s mission.
Most of Ralph John Perou’s photographs show celebrities living the high life. Bright lights, fancy cars, extravagant dresses. Yet, in his latest project, Perou focuses on homeless youth living in the United Kingdom.
Perou was asked to photograph for the campaign, “Homelessness and the Arts,” a project led by 20-year-old James McNaughton. At age 16, McNaughton found himself living on the streets, and he reflects, “I thought I was going to be homeless for the rest of my life.”[i] He slept in churchyards and tunnels for six months until a police officer offered him help. The experience inspired McNaughton to lead the “Homelessness and the Arts” project, which is backed by O2’s Think Big youth program. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about youth homelessness and change the stereotypes associated with homeless people through the campaign’s slogan, “Admit I exist.” The project examines the reasons behind youth homelessness, and the most cost effective ways to support homeless youth.
McNaughton reflects that while he was homeless, he felt that he no longer mattered to the point where he was invisible to society. Ashamedly, I know I can recognize the truth in McNaughton’s words, as I have walked past homeless people without giving them a second glance. “Homelessness and the Arts” aims to address this stigma associated with homelessness and encourage society to not “succumb to convenient stereotypes, but instead treat young homeless people with respect and dignity.”[ii] Perou, explains how the project has exposed him to the realities of and challenged his perception of homelessness. He says, “I feel embarrassed…in the past, I’ve looked in the opposite direction…”[iii]
Perou spent time with homeless youth in Liverpool and Machester, getting to know them as people, talking about their ambitions, and understanding their struggles. His photographs show meaningful places to the individuals, and are on the “Homeless and Arts” online exhibition. Perou’s work will be displayed alongside photographs taken by homeless youth themselves.
While McNaughton recently launched this project, he plans to eventually establish the campaign as an independent charity. He plans on using the media to raise awareness and challenge society’s perceptions of homeless youth. In the future, McNaughton plans to work with other organizations in developing peer education programs within schools and hostels.
McNaughton and Perou’s work ask each of us to stop and think about our perception of homelessness. Ultimately, Perou explains that he hopes that his photographs make people realize “we do have a social responsibility to people who are less well off than ourselves” [iv]
Victor, age 16, hauls up to 1500 lbs of tomatoes in a day in the heat of Florida's summer
Shine Global is dedicated to ending the exploitation and abuse of children worldwide and in this pursuit we make films that raise awareness and effect change on behalf of their well-being. It was for this reason that we recently released our documentary, THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA, which told the stories of 3 of the estimated 400,000 American child migrant farm workers who work as many as 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, at below minimum wage salaries. They work legally from the age of 12 in all weather extremes in what is the most dangerous occupation extant for minors. They earn no overtime and no sick days.
This is legal in America because the Fair Labor Standards Act, enacted in 1938, excluded agriculture and thus left thousands of children unprotected. Shine applauds US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for the changes the Department of Labor proposes to make that will close this gap and provide equal protections to minors, whatever their occupation. We encourage all Shine supporters to educate themselves about the existing legislation and pending revisions and to demonstrate their support for the health and wellbeing of our children.
The proposed rules maintain the current parental exemption and would not apply to children working on their parents’ farm. They would prohibit hired workers under age 16 from working with certain animals, handling pesticides, working in timber operations, and working in or around manure pits and storage bins. Further, the new rules would prohibit farm workers under the age of 16 from participating in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco (which causes severe tobacco poisoning) and from operating power driven equipment. The department is also proposing a new non-ag hazardous occupations (non-ag HO) order that would prevent children under the age of 18 from working in grain elevators, feed lots, stockyards, and livestock exchanges and auctions. The DOL is also soliciting comments, and may institute regulations, limiting hired youths’ exposure to extreme temperatures, as well as whether the payment of piece rates to young farm workers impacts their prolonged exposure to potentially harmful conditions.
Comments can be made electronically at the above website or by mail to: Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Comments should be identified by Document ID: WHD-2011-0001- 0001, RIN 1235-AA06
Watch the beautiful trailer of INOCENTE by clicking the above image.
INOCENTE tells the story of a young Latina striving to find her artistic voice despite having no home, no role models and no legal status. The only constant in her precarious life is her art and her determination to express herself through it.
INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past – – a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.
“Straightforward, intimate, and heartbreaking” – Susan Linden, The Los Angeles Times
“In its modest way, calls to mind The Grapes of Wrath” – Mike Hale, The New York Times
“There’s not a wasted frame in U. Roberto Romano’s documentary THE HARVEST, in which he illustrates the real costs of the produce on your grocer’s shelves” – Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
“Expertly filmed with a lot of genuine heart.” – Daniel Johnson, Raleigh Movie Examiner
Every year there are more than 400,000 American children who are torn away from their friends, schools and homes to pick the food we all eat. Zulema, Perla and Victor labor as migrant farm workers, sacrificing their own childhoods to help their families survive. THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA profiles these three as they journey from the scorching heat of Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards and back south to the humidity of Florida’s tomato fields to follow the harvest.
From the Producers of the Academy-Award® Nominated film, WAR/DANCE and Executive Producer Eva Longoria, this award-winning documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these children who struggle to dream while working 12 – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed America.