Canon Europe, the imaging solutions provider, celebrates a significant milestone for one of its core sustainability programmes, Miraisha, as it reaches its two-year anniversary.
The programme, which is run closely with Canon Central & North Africa, has trained over 2,500 participants since its inception in 2014, aims to promote job opportunities in Africa by offering workshops to photographers, videographers, film-makers and print business owners.
Miraisha, which means future livelihood – 'Mirai' being future in Japanese and 'Maisha' being livelihood in Swahili – provides people with the skills to develop their careers in professional photography or print by utilising Canon's core expertise in imaging and its network of professionals. Initiatives range from fashion and street photography classes to filmmaking workshops and print training for SMEs.
Stuart Poore, Director of Sustainability at Canon Europe commented, "The Miraisha programme truly embodies our corporate philosophy of Kyosei: living and working together for the common good. In just two years, it has already achieved impressive results and had a major impact on the lives and businesses of participants – more than 140 photographers have received work with a paid commission and more than 20 have received awards and recognition for their work. Print shop owners have also benefited, for example, one has won a contract from a large African Bank, citing the training from Canon being a winning factor for them. We are absolutely dedicated to the Miraisha programme and look forward to carrying out many more seminars, workshops, training and mentorships in the future."
A summary of key initiatives from the programme so far include:
- Ghanaian Professional Print Excellence Training – Canon is currently working with local business partner, MFI Ghana, and not-for-profit organisation, Invest in Africa, to deliver training to 22 local Professional Printers in the Accra region. The training focuses on improving the entrepreneurial, business management and technical skills of employees, helping local SMEs meet the print demands of multinational companies active in Ghana, who may otherwise have looked outside of the area.
- Photography workshops with Canon Master, Gary Knight – the world renowned photojournalist has run a number of workshops in Kenya and Nigeria, to not only train, teach and mentor, but build and bring together a community of photographers in Africa. Among the 57 participants who have taken part in the workshops, many have had stories published in magazines and newspapers including, Vogue Italia online and The Standard (Kenya). One student won the Discovery Award at the Recontres d'Arles 2016 for her project, 'Stranger in a Familiar Land'.
- Film and Photography Excellence Programme in partnership with Kenyatta University – Canon will work closely with Kenyatta University as part of a three-year partnership, delivering practical and theoretical training to students through a structured photography and film programme. Students are able to experience hands-on time with the latest equipment during the intensive training sessions.
- Film and Photography Excellence Programme in partnership with NAFTI –Canon and the National Film and TV Institute, Ghana (NAFTI), agreed to a three-year partnership, with the goal of creating new and rewarding careers for creative young professionals. Isaac Yeboath, a student who took part in a recent workshop said, "It pays to stay abreast with leading standards and champions, especially in a fast changing field such as photography – this workshop was perfect for just that!"