Give needy kids a shot at photography

An ongoing collection drive of old cameras to give disadvantaged children the chance to own their first lens has received more than 120 cameras.

With just slightly more than a month before the collection ends in September, organisers hope to reach the target of 200 cameras.

These can include video cameras, digital still cameras or cameras with interchangeable lens.

The cameras will be given to less-privileged children from the Marine Parade GRC and social service centre Touch Young Arrows.

The children will then be invited to take part in various photography outings to be held later this year.

Started by the People's Association and Marine Parade GRC, the Donate Your Old Camera drive began last month and cameras have been given to about 100 children at photo events held earlier this month.

For the children, mostly from low-income families or single-parent families, it could be the first camera they own.

Eight-year-old Jason Wong, who enjoys photography, said buying a brand-new camera is too expensive for his parents.

But the donated camera allows him to try his hand at photography without giving his parents extra stress, he said. "I will be sure to take good care of this camera that's given to me."

Retiree Chee Kok Kee, 70, had donated two digital cameras and a video camera after reading about the initiative in the news.

"It's for a good cause. One person can't use so many cameras, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to donate them."

The collection drive has also drawn corporate donors such as Sony Singapore, which gave 26 of its Cyber-shot digital cameras.

Those interested in donating their cameras can drop them off at Marine Parade Community Club (CC), Kembangan-Chai Chee CC, Geylang Serai CC, Braddell Heights CC, MacPherson CC, Kampong Ubi CC, Joo Chiat CC, Mountbatten CC, Katong CC, Potong Pasir CC and Touch Young Arrows Eunos Club.

This article was published on July 29 in The Straits Times.

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