In May 2015, I arrived in Aruba, camera in hand, to become the new photographer for Switch Foundation. On my very first assignment I had the pleasure to meet the Job Coach for Trampolin pa Trabao, Lionel Rumnit. We spoke about his mentoring work with people with disabilities, and his efforts to support their active participation in the labor force.
Over the years, Lionel became one of my recurrent subjects. I witnessed deeply inspiring and intimate moments as he engaged with his clients and their broader community. I witnessed many instances of his dedication, as, without hesitation, he took the time to support his clients in their everyday lives, and even celebrated their accomplishments.
As a result of Lionel’s commitment, his clients have achieved great successes: learning new skills, obtaining quality jobs, and improving their quality of life. This overwhelming programmatic success is a testament to the idea that second chances make a big difference in the lives of individuals and the broader community.
As I reflect on these images, I find moments filled with compassion and dignity. In turn, I consider my experience in my own community, and reflect on the quality of my participation. I wonder: how can we support each other and build new roads for everyone to grow in a positive and productive way?
I applaud this initiative and invite you to reflect on these images from TRAMPOLIN PA TRABAO.