Maggie Soladay: In 2003, three young orphaned girls were spotted living under a bridge in Kota. A man, who worked for another humanitarian organization, noticed the girls and called Vatsalya’s Udayan Home for Children. Vatsalya dispatched a van that confirmed the man’s suspicions: the girls had no family and were foraging for food and taking care of each other. Seema, Sapna, and Soniya are no w living at Udayan, where they will stay into adulthood. Soniya was 7 years old, Seema, 6, and Sapna 4, when they were found. Now, 5 years later, there is virtually no trace of the life they were surviving under that bridge. Vatsalya helps identify the children’s strong suits and provides practical job training and job placement. Though they are welcome to stay after 18 years old, many will leave and use their education and contacts to support themselves.
Maggie Soladay is an photography editor, producer, and photographer based in NYC. She is a passionate activist, using her knowledge of the old and new media to tackle the world’s humanitarian and environmental problems. Maggie believes everyone has a calling to give back to the communities they care about. While photographers and journalists have a special duty, she says, “We can be officers of justice and social change by putting our media skills to use for good.”
Soladay is the NYC producer-in-chief of SalaamGarage and SalaamGarage Local/NYC. She lead SalaamGarage India 2009 and Ethiopia 2010 trips, and will lead the India 2011.