CARE and Documentary Photographer Phil Borges Launch the Women Empowered Project

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New collaboration uses photos and video to shine a spotlight on women and girls in the developing world

Through this new endeavor, we hope to continue the momentum we have gained through our partnership and continue to raise awareness about the unique position women hold

Acclaimed documentary photographer Phil Borges and CARE, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls, are continuing a successful multi-year collaboration with today's launch of the Women Empowered Project. Using Borges' photography and video, The Women Empowered Project spotlights some of the issues that women and girls in the developing world face while demonstrating practical, proven solutions to fighting global poverty.

The new website, which was built in conjunction with liveBooks - a San Francisco-based Internet service for professional photographers -- includes three mini-documentary films: Learning to Lead portrays the transformative power of education and leadership for girls and women; Vigilantes de la Vida shows how childbirth can lead to heartbreak rather than happiness when adequate maternal health care is not available, and Strength in Numbers illustrates how African women can turn tiny amounts of money into sustaining capital through village savings and loan programs.

These three issue areas - maternal health, education and financial services - are signature examples of CARE's work to combat poverty. Additional support during these critical moments can help put women and girls' on a pathway to success. Each of the three video vignettes includes supplementary information about CARE's work to address each issue, details about related policy and advocacy topics, and opportunities to share the content with others.

"Through this new endeavor, we hope to continue the momentum we have gained through our partnership and continue to raise awareness about the unique position women hold," said Valenda Campbell, CARE's senior photo editor. "Despite the inequity women face, they unite their families and communities and when they are able to make the most of three key windows of opportunity in their lives, they can create lasting change for themselves and everyone their lives touch. These are stories that people must hear and understand."

Beginning in March, 2008 and working through the fall, Borges visited CARE programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. In each region, specifically Malawi (microfinance), Peru (maternal health) and India (education), Borges met with and filmed his subjects to not only capture how discrimination and social injustice affect women and their families and fuel the cycle of poverty, but also how CARE is helping to change the systems that hold people back, and why empowering women is the key to lasting change.

The Women Empowered Project is the latest chapter in an ongoing collaboration between CARE and Borges. In 2007, Borges released a traveling fine art exhibit, a companion book, Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World, and a multimedia feature telling the story of one woman's efforts to transform her community.

"My partnership with CARE not only allows me to bring attention to the social issues I am concerned about, but to focus my work on creative solutions to those issues" Mr. Borges said.

The Women Empowered Project, which was developed in conjunction with liveBooks and the Fifty Crows Foundation is built on the liveBooks Photojournalism platform that provides cost-effective, web-based tools for photojournalists to display their work.

About CARE
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives. To get involved, visit http://www.care.org.

About Phil Borges
For more than 25 years Phil Borges has documented indigenous and tribal cultures around the world. Through his exhibits, books and multimedia projects, he strives to create a heightened understanding of issues faced by people in the developing world. His previous books include Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion, Enduring Spirit, an celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and The Gift about medical teams that provide facial reconstructive surgery to children in the developing world. Women Empowered, Phil's current project with CARE USA, introduces some of the extraordinary women in the developing world who are breaking through gender barriers and conventions to enhance their well being and the well being of their communities. Phil hosted three television documentaries for Discovery and National Geographic. In 2000 Phil founded Bridges to Understanding, an on-line classroom program that connects youth worldwide through digital storytelling. Phil's photographs are collected and exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. In 2007 he was named by AmericanPhoto magazine as one of "10 photographers that inspire us." To learn more, visit http://www.philborges.com.

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Sarah Moser
CARE
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