February 26, 2014

Island of Widows: Update - 1 Week Left!

A widow poses for a portrait in the sugar cane fields of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.
She lost her husband and two sons to CKDu between 2010-2012.
© Ed Kashi (VII Photo)

There is only 1 week left to help photojournalist Ed Kashi reach his $19,000 goal for his crowdfunded project The Island of Widows. With your tax-deductible contribution, you can help Ed spread awareness about the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown cause (CKDu) among Nicaragua's sugar cane workers.

Please consider donating to The Island of Widows - a project telling the story of those who sweeten our lives at the expense of their own.

Why is this project so important?

Sugarcane workers in Nicaragua are dying in record numbers from CKDu. In Nicaragua, which exports 40% of its sugar to America, the average life span of men who harvest sugar cane is 49 years.  In the town Chichigalpa, often called the "Island of Widows," 1-in-3 men, mostly cane workers, are in end-stage renal failure.  The cause of this epidemic is unknown which is why Ed is launching this project -- in hopes of bringing about more awareness and finding a solution. 

A notoriously corrupt government continually mutes this issue by intimidating sugarcane workers and their advocates.  As a result, this greatly inhibits solving the mystery behind the cause of this deadly epidemic.  Research on the subject CKDu by La Isla Foundation has indicated that repeated dehydration, severe heat, and environmental toxins may play a huge part in the rising death toll among cane workers.  These clues require further investigation and increased media coverage to find a solution to this problem.

How can you help?

Make a tax-deductible contribution to Ed Kashi's IndieVoic.es campaign!  Once you have donated, please spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues.

If Ed does not reach his funding goal of $19,000 by March 3, 2014 then all donations will be returned to their funders and no money will go towards this project.

How will your support make a difference?

Once this project is funded, Ed will return to Nicaragua to continue creating documentary photographs and video to be used for outreach about this tragic epidemic.  Through Ed's efforts, he hopes to draw attention and resources to this crisis and, ultimately, help save lives.