EPHAS is a concept that the whole world can utilize to transcend literacy and share impactful stories with each other.
In 2004, Every Person Has a Story was the title of a promotional video that G. Ryan Ansin created for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation’s promotional use. From that point forward, the acronym, EPHAS, stood for authentic stories being told for the sake of bettering communities.
Ansin used the organizational name, EPHAS, for all of his promotional video work for the following six years until, in 2010, his perspective changed. When asked to make a documentary about water purification in Rwanda, Ansin offered a different solution: Teach photography during the transformative years of a water project to depict the real, long-term change instead of a video of a two week period that would show little reality. 1for3.org, the groundbreaking water-purification organization agreed and EPHAS changed forever.
From 2010, when EPHAS was granted its 501(c)3, until 2013 EPHAS built a model. To bring professional photographers on-location to capture community development is wonderful but it does not portray reality. Ansin always shares, “When a muzunga (white person) is around with a camera, a boom mic, a driver and a translator, reality stops. If we want to know what is really happening, we teach the locals how to document their own stories and, once the muzungas are gone, that’s exactly what you get.” (Read more in WHY)
In thirty-two locations throughout twelve countries over the course of two and a half years, EPHAS tested its model, always intending to turn it over to a larger organization or to the general public for a larger-scale impact. At the turn of 2013, it was time.
Today, EPHAS is an open-source methodology to be used by organizations, corporations, and communities of all kind that help breathe life into others. The EPHAS model is for you if the individuals whom you are helping have a positive story to tell the world.
Don’t be mistaken: it is their story to tell.