No beach vacations here — many Adobe employees use their time off to make other people’s lives better. Baris O., Digital Media and Publishing Expert in Istanbul, Turkey, has turned the idea of “me” time into “we” time — as in “make our world a better place” time.
Four years ago, Baris took a trip to Kenya to go on a safari. When he returned, he used Adobe tools to put together a video about his travels. It quickly became an online hit that caught the eye of a professional production company. They asked Baris to go back to Africa to film and contribute to a documentary project for a local nonprofit organization, and he jumped at the chance.
Baris remembers a visit to a Niger village with no electricity or running water. When he met a baby boy, he was struck by the stark contrast between this baby’s circumstances and his own son’s circumstances.
“There is no real difference between who he is and who my son is. He didn’t choose to be born into these conditions,” Baris says. “So I committed to go to the poorest countries of the world at least one time each year on my vacation time. I’m not a doctor; I can’t volunteer to give them healthcare. But I have some other qualifications, like taking pictures and videos, and producing stories. Maybe I can use that to inspire other people to help.”
Baris has now traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Niger, and Nigeria to contribute to documentaries or work for local nonprofit organizations that benefit children living in poverty.
“When we work, sometimes our perspective gets narrow,” Baris says. “With this kind of trip — it’s like fresh air in our lives. I can open my eyes wider and increase my vision about humanity and our world.”