Kristine Dong is a New York-based amateur photographer who is an enthusiastic advocate for South Africa and has dedicated her time and her lens to two very special villages in Mpumalanga (Justicia and Huntington). For the last six years, she has been visiting South Africa annually to bring her love of photography and her devotion to the youth of this country together in what she considers her passion in life.
Throughout the years, Kristine has successfully put together two books showcasing the young people of these villages and their hopes for the future. They are entitled What the World Ought to Know and Little People, Big Dreams.
Kristine’s enthusiasm has inspired her friends and family to travel to South Africa with her to impart some of their wisdom on these budding minds. Several teachers and some healthcare professionals have joined Kristine on her yearly quest to ensure rural South Africa continues to surmount the odds despite being behind digitally. Mathematics, poetry, marine biology, and sexual education straight from New York City into the classrooms of rural South Africa. It is truly amazing what one can accomplish with an idea and a passport!
It was through these travels that Kristine discovered the young women of Justicia and Huntington were missing out on 2-5 days of school per month due to their menstrual cycle. Without convenience stores to run to and running water to clean their clothes, these young women are opting to skip school during their cycles in order to save their uniforms from being stained. With so many schooldays being missed, these female students are falling behind in their studies.
This is when Kristine was inspired to contact Hilary Gleason at level. We've built out a campaign to provide menstrual hygiene products and education to students in Justicia and Huntington. Click the button below to join Kristine in supporting this critical initiative!