Kris Dreessen

Kris Dreessen is a photojournalist and writer who gave up most of her possessions to live her dream — helping to document communities with disappearing or changing languages, and sharing stories of everyday people who make a difference in the lives of others.

She started by living with Nicaraguan farmers, with whom she built a preschool using $5,200 raised from others who support do-it-yourself change. She has collaborated with linguists working with groups with under-studied languages in Kenya, Senegal and Australia, and is creating a visual scrapbook of the communities, focusing on what is important to them, changing culture and traditions still in use. She has been an outdoors and feature reporter, editor and photographer for newspapers and has visited 35 countries, usually solo and always with more memory cards than cash. Living with colonists in the Amazon rainforest inspired her long ago to share stories that might otherwise go untold. Her grassroots project, The Friends Project, funds small improvement projects, including the preschool, in developing communities she visits that are driven by residents.

25% of the sales of Kris’s photography go to The Friends Project, originated to build a preschool in Minitas, Nicaragua and a Masai Scholarship project in Senegal.