BLOG

PIETA HOUSE

PIETA HOUSE | SUICIDE PREVENTION
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
In 2006, Pieta House opened its doors in Lucan, County Dublin and since that day they have seen and helped over 30,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established twelve subsequent centers across Ireland.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
Pieta House's flagship fundraiser, the phenomenon that is Darkness Into Light, continues to go from strength to strength. Hundreds of thousands of people have woken in the small hours of the morning and taken part in Darkness Into Light to date, and each year it touches the lives of many more in venues across the world.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
I traveled around Ireland with my producer Louise Harding filming, photographing and talking to people in rural and urban areas. Everyone we spoke to had a story about suicide, a family member, a friend, a partner, it was tragic that the issue is so prevalent and so many people's lives have impacted by suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm. But the support Pieta House receives from across the country is an amazing thing to witness, I've never come across an NGO that has seemingly been adopted by an entire nation. We came back in May to photograph Darkness Into Light and witnessed over 15,000 people gather in Pheonix park at 4am to walk until the sun came up and collectively show their support for suicide prevention in Ireland.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography

SNUPA

SNUPA | ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
Albinism in humans is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. Albinism is associated with a number of vision defects, such as photophobia, nystagmus, and amblyopia. Lack of skin pigmentation makes for more susceptibility to sunburn and skin cancers.
People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
On 18 December 2014, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
I spent an incredible week with SNUPA - Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism. We traveled from village to village with the SNUPA team visiting persons living with albinism in their homes, communities, and places of business. SNUPA provides support in numerous ways but mostly the goal is to help their clients live a healthy life with their rights protected and with the stigma of albinism lifted from their shoulders.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography

MADIPHA

MADIPHA | DEFYING DISABILITY
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
This is the wonderful Margaret, a blind lady living with HIV in Masaka, Uganda. We joined Margaret to visit the location of her new plot of land that will soon become a support center for people with disabilities. Margaret is possibly the most joyous individual I've ever met, if she isn't laughing and giggling she is dancing or hugging someone with enough force to squeeze the air from their lungs. Margaret's plan for this center is supported by The Nerve Network and MADIPHA an NGO helping people with disabilities access HIV/AIDS medication and support in Uganda. Learn more about Margaret's amazing story here: wegotnerve.com/margaret
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
I spent a week with the MADIPHA team and the wonderful Nerve Network visiting the rural communities that MADIPHA serves. It was so evident that this kind of outreach is incredibly valuable as we met each person and learned about the physical and medical challenges they face. One of the most inspiring aspects of the work they do is the focus put on developing a sustainable business for their clients and regardless of the limitations of their disability each individual we met was pursuing a path to a brighter future through sheer courage and mental strength.
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography
Al Compton | Humanitarian Film & Photography