Photographer Charlie Sarsfield takes us on the road to Kenya and Rwanda to show us there’s more to life than making it rain…
Where were these photos taken?
This collection of photographs were taken by me across Kenya and Rwanda. I was mostly hanging out of a van window! I was lucky to be asked by MTV Staying Alive to go on a trip with them and so I documented the amazing charity work they do in those countries.
What surprised you about your travels through Kenya and Rwanda?
Kenya and Rwanda are similar in a lot of ways, however Rwanda is spotless. It’s potentially one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever been to! The people there were fascinated by me, mainly because I am a white guy. Some of the kids in Rwanda would stop in their paths and just stare at me. It was great for me because it gave me a bit more time to take their picture!
Many of the people you came across have survived famine and genocide, what was the vibe of the people you met?
Honestly, it was amazing to see how far it’s all come. Everyone is so lovely there, caring and considerate. Even though a lot of them have very little. There’s a massive sense of community across all of the villages, which is something that can’t really be said for London. No one seemed to be competitive, and everyone’s striving to better themselves for the greater good of the country. Everyone wants their country to be great and so it never felt like anyone I met was in it for themselves.
What do you think “Getting Money” means to the people in these photos?
Like I said, I don’t think money or getting money is their main agenda. I suppose everything is relative and out there getting money means enough to feed their families. They’re not buy materialistic objects to make them feel good. Maybe I’m being a bit preachy, but they’re so much more grateful for the small things in life than we are.
What do you think would be the best way for readers to contribute to those you met in Kenya and Rwanda?
Go follow MTV staying alive across all socials. They really do some amazing work, and are saving lives everyday. The ladies in charge over there are some of the best people I’ve ever met. Reach out to them if you feel you want to help.