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Photo-journalist's travels reveal plight of orphans

By: Don Kirkland

Jan 20, 2007

David Stone’s compassion for orphaned, abandoned and neglected children around the world can be seen not only through his own eyes but through the eye of his camera.

In a presentation to members of the Kyrene Corridor Rotary Club on Jan. 15, Stone told of odysseys to such places as Costa Rica and Vietnam, where as a photo-journalist he learned of—and photographed—the warehousing of children whose parents aren’t now, nor ever have been, available to provide love, warmth or care.

What he found instead of parents, said Stone, was “children taking care of children”—boys and girls filling a void in the lives of those with whom they share their day-to-day existence.

In a compelling photo journal, Stone displayed pictures of children at play, at work and at moments of reflection.

Some of the insight he gained during the trips, Stone said, energized his interest in helping young people in this country; he recently began teaching photography to students at Skyline Technical High School in Ahwatukee, a haven for young people with marginal backgrounds and limited abilities.

The results of his students’ newfound knowledge have helped some blossom into budding photographers, according to Stone, and many of those already have taken on assignments and produced displays of their work.

Among the benefactors of Stone’s teachings:

“Kids on parole, 15- and 16-year-olds who already have kids themselves,” he said. “It’s been quite an experience—not only for the students but for me.”

Barb Feder, a past district governor in Rotary who was a driving force behind the local chapter’s formation five years ago, said Stone’s involvement with the students might inspire the club to take on an additional support role.

Citing another club’s highly successful mentoring program with at-risk teens, Feder said the Kyrene Corridor club’s members might consider a collaborative effort that would help to “catch the kids before they drop out.”

“There’s a lot of potential for Rotary involvement at many levels,” she said.

The club meets at noon Mondays at

Information: (480) 966-0837.



Photo by Kyle Maki


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