04 May FairMail, Huanchaco (PER)
The photos on FairMail products are taken by Peruvian teenagers. All teenagers come from partnering NGO’s and all have challenging backgrounds. Most of them come from nearby El Milagro: a slum located next to and on a garbage heep. Most kids in El Milagro work on this heep.
FairMail sells their best photos on fair trade greeting cards, through large European vendors. The face, name and age of the photographer are on the back of each card. The teenagers get 50% of the profit from their own photos to invest in their education. In addition, FairMail offers the teenagers photography training, a medical fund and guidance in making future plans.
Since its foundation in 2006, FairMail has sold more than 2 million cards in 14 countries. It allowed 50 teenager photographers to earn a combined total of more than 100,000 EUR to invest in their own education through the sale of their pictures.
The FairMail office is run by former teenager photographers. Every week a group of 11 teenagers gathers here, for group sessions stimulating creativity and photography workshops. Also they get a regular insight in the balance sheet of the company, to understand what is going on, where the profits go, and the importance to be aware of keeping costs as low as possible.
The remainder of the week, they are in school.
After turning 19, the teenagers quit the FairMail programme. Because of copyrights on their own photos, they continue to have income through the sales of their cards.