“No matter what our faith, we can still come together.” ~ Cherel Ito
In the year 1978, Cherel Ito fulfilled her dreams of traveling to Africa on a quest to capture photographic images of a culture that at the time, far less was known. Cherel stated in her journals that “the only way to know the people was to live with them.”
Cherel found the Masai to be dignified people. She wrote they were people who were “soft and gentle, understanding, loving, giving and happy.” Her impression was not wrong.
In the thirty-two years since Cherel Ito traveled to Africa, Americans have become more aware and sympathetic to the culture and the people. The plight of the Masai women have come to light. Many American non-profit organizations have stepped up to help the Masai, believing these dignified people are deserving of far more. Seed money from U.S. organizations, such as www.bomafund.org has enabled entrepreneurial opportunity. Micro-enterprise projects started in many communities by Masai women have raised economic conditions. However, there is still more work to be done to fulfill the dreams of Masai women seeking to become business owners.
Cherel’s photographic excursions carried her from place to place. As she went, she found the goodness in people everywhere. Her unique nature allowed her to be open. She found opportunities to discover “the basic spirit of human beings” around the globe.