Through the Lens: Marc, Former PJL Educator and our Photographer
Marc Negane was a PJL Educator for three years, first working at Antsaharoa middle school during the 2016-2017 school year (the school he attended growing up!), then at Mahazengy in 2018-2019 and Ambalakely in 2019-2020.
Since wrapping up his tenure as a PJL Educator, Marc has maintained a special role in our extended PJL community—as our photographer!
Marc has a clear gift for building trust and rapport with others, especially with young people. It’s one of the qualities that made him such a valued member of the school communities he worked in as an Educator. Unsurprisingly, one of the aspects he loved most about being a PJL Educator was counseling—a chance to connect with students one-on-one, lend a listening ear, and provide confidential advice.
One of his students at Antsaharoa Middle School shared this feedback in 2017:
“I had a big problem, which is I didn’t have the courage to talk to my father about getting my period. But with Marc, it was really easy, to talk about this and that… I really felt that he listened to my problems and wanted to help. He felt like an older brother.”
Today, Marc has taken his people skills and warm heart in a new direction, embarking on a career in film and photography.
He first discovered his talent for photography when we launched a mini photo competition involving our Educators in 2017. At the time, he was placed at Antsaharoa middle school. “It was when I participated in the competition that I first realized that I loved photography,” recalls Marc. “Then, out of the whole group of Educators, I won, which felt like a sign. My love of photography grew from there.”
He credits the leadership skills, sense of initiative, and self-confidence he developed over the years working as a PJL Educator for driving him to pursue a career in photography and film. His leap of faith paid off. Today, Marc runs his own business in Fianarantsoa, employing a small team and applying his own skills to photograph and film weddings, music videos, local events, and more.
His new career has also brought him back to PJL.
Since 2020, we have been thrilled to regularly hire Marc to document our work on the ground. Throughout the school year, he visits every one of our partner schools at least once. With his camera, he manages to capture the magic that is PJL: the energy of our CSE classes, the dedication of our Educators, the joy of a game of basketball, the mentorship that our Educators provide both formally and informally to young adolescents. His photos have become a powerful tool to show our impact and have opened a window into our classrooms and partner communities for those around the world unable to visit themselves.
Marc explains that since he has experienced PJL’s work first-hand as one of our Educators, he has a unique understanding of our multifaceted impact and knows how to spot those moments of learning and connection. He also shares,
“I love photographing PJL’s work because it allows me to visit many communities in Madagascar, places I saw for the first time. My favorite part is when I’m done taking pictures and I have time to hang out with the Educator in that school, and students come up to us and ask us to play chess or card games. It reminds me of the times I loved most when I was an Educator myself.”
Marc’s remarkable work is featured throughout the PJL website and in our latest annual report. We invite you to take a look!
A few of our favorite photos, taken by Marc!