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Respect in storytelling

All We Can is inspired by Christian principles. These principles have structured our core values and All We Can strives to fulfill those values every day. One of these values is respect. All We Can respects the inherent worth, dignity and equality of every human being. Therefore, it is important that respect is given to every single person in all areas of our work – this includes in our story and photo collection when visiting the communities we serve around the world.

When All We Can visits communities in need of support, staff members will often take photos and record stories. These stories highlight the challenges people face in the area they live in. For example; the issue of climate change affecting a harvest or the challenge refugees face in crowded camp environments.

All We Can works with local organisations so that life-changing action can be taken for families living in some of the world’s poorest communities. When All We Can staff members return to these areas during, and after, the communities have received support, this journey of transformation is also recorded.

When our staff take photos, All We Can understands that it is important these photos are not only shared with our supporters, but are also shared with the individuals who are in them. We all know what it’s like to have our photo taken – it is a personal thing to be photographed and most of us would want to see the end result! So why would we not show those that we support and serve the photo of themselves in the same way? Giving back physical photos is just one small way we can say thank you for people’s time and for the way they have been willing to share personal and sometimes difficult stories.

Some All We Can staff members recently returned to Ethiopia and shared the images that were taken of community members in Cherkos in the Amhara region for All We Can’s Harvest Appeal this year.

Tsege receiving back images

Another staff member revisited Malawi and showed Shanu and Sam, a father and son who featured in our Harvest appeal in 2018, the photos and resources they were featured in.

Sam, Shanu and community members looking at the images

It is important that the people who are visited by All We Can do not feel imposed on, or taken advantage of. When our staff collect stories we ensure any person sharing their story feels safe and that they understand their story may be shared with different people in the UK.

All We Can always prioritises ethics and our values, and rather than exploit someone for an image, we share their story, and aim to represent the storyteller in truthful and dignified light. Respect is one of All We Can’s core values and as an organisation All We Can will always strive to show respect to those we support, those that share their stories with us, and to the wonderful All We Can supporters who read those stories.

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