BALTIMORE — Jermaine Gibbs is a professional photographer who is described as having heart of gold. Having been hired to take photos for a church revival in Kumasi Ghana, his eyes were opened to the needs of the people in Ghana.
“I stumbled off and wandered around into some of the villages and seen how people were living and then I seen someone go to the lake and get water and I said why are they getting that water and they said that is all the water this village has.” said Gibbs.
Once he arrived back in Baltimore, he came up with the Idea to start H.O.P.E. Missions. As Gibbs eyes were opened on his trip, he wanted to do the same for others.
“The acronym H.O.P.E. is to help open people’s eyes. And that name is literally because when I went my eyes wasn't open until I got there” said Gibbs”
In just three years, H.O.P.E. Missions has built wells in Kumasi Ghana, renovated a school, purchased laptops and paid two years worth of salaries for teachers. Next month, Gibbs and his team are headed back to Africa for a ground-breaking ceremony for a brand new school.
“We are about to build our own school there which will be a charter school. It will be 100% free to students but it will be a dual school. In the day it will be a charter school and in the evening, we’ll have it as a trade school so we can bring the local people in the community so we can teach them different trades and they’ll be able to get a job.” said Gibbs
By having the school open in the evening, he hopes to teach the local carpenters and plumbers how to uses power tools and shorten the time that it takes to do various jobs in the community.
Between photography and his new-found passion for opening eyes, Gibbs is making history and bridging Gaps.
“I always knew that I would be able to help people, but on this level, I never thought or imagined… I hope to be on that list of not just amazing photographers that captured beautiful images but also someone who invoked change all around the world.” Said Gibbs
For more information on H.O.P.E Mission click here.