Bonnie Chiu has used photography to express herself for as long as she can remember. But it was a chance encounter with a group of teenage girls in Istanbul, Turkey, that changed the way the 22-year-old looked at the art forever.
Despite speaking different languages, Chiu and the teenagers were able to bond over their fascination with her camera.
"I realized then how photography is a universal language, and can transcend cultural barriers," she tells Mashable.
The exchange made Chiu think about how many women and girls around the world donâ€™t have access to cameras. It prompted her to create Lensational, a social enterprise that uses recycled and donated cameras to organize photography workshops for underserved women, allowing them to capture their world and tell their own stories.
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With zero funds and a dream to create a system that connects marginalized women across the globe, Chiu launched Lensationalâ€™s Facebook page on International Womenâ€™s Day in 2013.
"I shared a few articles related to International Womenâ€™s Day and I uploaded the photos I took of the four Turkish girls, and thatâ€™s how the whole thing got started," she says...