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This page was created in support of Photographers Without Borders® (PWB)


Changing worlds with photography.

Ageing With A Smile, The Gambia - Photographer Vanessa Tignanelli

Donors like you have helped photographers fundraise 100% of project-related costs since 2014!

Every year, our photographers and videographers donate hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of their time to document the work of grassroots initiatives that are making a real change in this world where it is most needed. By capturing, honouring and witnessing humanity at its best, we are not only inspiring change, but we are forging new narratives of what is possible. 

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About Ageing With a Smile, The Gambia

Ageing with a Smile Initiative (ASI) is a new and innovative drive launched in The Gambia in January 2010. It aims to improve the lives of elderly people in the country. With a vision of aiding the elderly enjoy good health, remain productive, and to be valued and cared for by society; this organization’s mission is to support the elderly lead healthier and dignified lives. Please visit their website for more info:

General Information

The mission is to improve access to basic health care services to disadvantaged elderly people in The Gambia; promote the integration of the elderly in Gambian social life; promote intergenerational dialogue and advocate for the rights of the elderly in The Gambia.

In traditional Gambian society, elderly people have always been adequately cared for by family members, neighbours and the wider community. Changes in lifestyle in The Gambia, including economic problems, is forcing individuals and families to be more concerned about their own development than caring for and supporting others. This situation is putting the lives of many disadvantaged elderly people in misery. They are neglected, living without adequate care and suffer in silence.

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Strong visuals make a world of difference to an organization's efforts. They help fundraising initiatives, promotion, and foster support an ocean away! 

About the Photographer

Vanessa Tignanelli is a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer whose work explores significant social themes. 

Vanessa's curiosity and passion for storytelling has brought her across the globe. In May 2015, she travelled through Germany and Poland with a Holocaust survivor, photographing his return to his painful past, to prevent future genocides through youth education. She befriended a homeless man with a brilliant mind, in hopes of better understanding his unique and philosophical take on society as an outsider. Recently, she has been documenting the difficult situation faced by a son caring for his bipolar, drug-addicted father. Vanessa finds inspiration on the fringes of society and within the homes of the otherwise misunderstood, giving her subjects a powerful voice while encouraging the audience to consider an ulterior, more empathetic perspective. 

It is for these reasons that we have selected Vanessa from amongst thousands of photographers to tell this story. Like many who have been captured by Vanessa's camera, the elderly of The Gambia are the forgotten ones of their community. It takes a photographer with a gentle step to represent those who are made to believe they no longer serve a purpose. Vanessa's mission is to communicate the current state of Gambian society, the struggles faced by the elderly, and the volunteers working tirelessly to support them. Documentation will include coverage of local programs, community-based health screening programs and clinics, home-based health care initiatives, seminars and other outreach and health awareness efforts within the community. Her photographs will help Ageing With a Smile achieve their mission to promote the integration of the elderly in Gambian social life, promote intergenerational dialogue, and help advocate for the rights of the elderly in The Gambia.

To learn more about Vanessa and to view her online portfolio, visit

You can help by supporting our photographer Vanessa Tignanelli and aid the mission of ASI.

Each of our official photographers/videographers is assigned a GroupRev fundraising page by PWB upon acceptance. These pages are a privilege we offer that are intended to make our programs accessible to all and enable our volunteer photographers/videographers to raise their program fees and subsidize or cover these necessary project-related expenses:

  • Airfare
  • Visa's
  • Vaccinations
  • Health Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

The following expenses are the sole responsibility of the photographer/videographer:

  • Privately arranged travel / Equipment & Equipment Insurance / Software / Extra Baggage Fees / Donation perks / Clothing / Postage/Postcard / Prints / Etc.

Photographers Without Borders® (PWB) envisions a world where we all put ourselves in each others' shoes and work together. Our mission is to inform and inspire positive change by visually communicating the ways that grassroots initiatives are addressing problems in their communities. PWB is registered as a charity in the United States with 501(c)(3) status and is registered as a not-for-profit organization in Canada. All donations are calculated in US Dollars and are tax-deductible for Americans and Canadians with US income.

PWB is not responsible for any donations made outside of these pages.

Any overage amounts raised on GroupRev will be donated with the photographers direction, 100% to the Organization, 100% to PWB or split 50/50, between the photographer's/videographer's assigned cause and PWB, which is also a volunteer-run organization.


Learn more about PWB.

All donations are calculated in US Dollars and are tax-deductible for Americans and Canadians with US income.

Anica James
Good luck!! I know that you are going to do an amazing job and I can't wait to hear all about your experience (and see your photos!) when you get back :) *huge hugs* You got this!
Jimmy Harnum
Can't wait to see what you create!
S. Dunstan $75.00
Jo Barrington
Good luck on this exciting assignment
Anna & Bart Hutul
Anonymous $15.00
Maria $30.00
All the Best on your trip -- Scott
Rick and Lisa
Congrats and good luck!! Stay safe.
The Shago's
Lorrie and the Ontarion $50.00
Aaron McCullagh
Happy to support!
Carole (Alan Sovran's Mom)
Congrats on this wonderful opportunity
Lise & Clem Amyotte
Congratulation Vanessa, how exiting this will be, your parents must be so proud and happy for you. Enjoy, have fun Lise and Clem Amyotte
David Cliff $25.00
Hugh Wesley
Congrats Vanessa, You are an inspiration. Be safe, be wonderful, capture our complicated species with your empathy and delight.
Emile Compion $10.00
Good Luck Van. It won't be easy, but just remember that it's your dream, and you will do good things. -d
Mary and Paul Sweeney $20.00
Have a wonderful experience. Peter
George Stoesser
Go with gumption
Shadi Hagag
All the best Vanessa!
Carla Wittes
To the biggest heart of all, with love and awe for the work you do and the sensitivity and care for humanity with which you do it.
Richard Cazabon
A great initiative! You should be proud Vanessa.
Work hard :)
Joe and Trudy
Good luck on your latest journey Vanessa! You will be great!
Stephen Soock $40.00
Christopher McCron
I hope you get to take your talents abroad and share them with the world. Not only on this trip, but also on many more!
M. Vincent
Hello Vanessa: Wishing you and the group excellent success, safe travelling, good health, and a very rewarding experience in Gambia. the Vincent family
Mike Campigotto
Best of Luck - capturing the moments, I'm sure you'll make an impact.
Susana Gapuz
Best of luck!
Vince Moskowec
I've always believed in you. And I always will.
Christian Giroux
Sounds awesome Vanessa! Its nice to hear about your exciting projects!
Hope all goes well on your photo project adventure!
J Kopas
Good luck!!!!
Francesco and Maryse Tignanelli
Good luck Vanessa!
Have a great trip and take some inspiring photographs Vanessa!
Mike Nagy
You are the perfect fit Vanessa for this powerful undertaking!
Anonymous $25.00
Giulia Tignanelli
Buona Fortuna, Vanessa! Ti voglio tanto bene, Nanna.
Monica Tap $150.00
H. Cardinal $20.00
Dr. Greg Christophersen
Hope you can help change the world for the better!!! Make us all proud!!!
Elio and Marilyn Tignanelli $50.00
Jennifer MacLachlan
Congrats, Vanessa.. what an opportunity!
Anne Marie Lambert
Good luck Vanessa with your passion. We would love to see pictures..... Your mom's St Joes friend Anne Marie and Taylor Lambert
Nina Berry
Vanessa, I'm so proud of you, and thrilled that you are doing something that you are passionate about. Best of luck on this adventure. xoxo
Dawn Owen
I believe in you, Vanessa, best of luck in Africa! We will work together on something amazing one day -- in the meantime, stay gold and follow your heart.
Mary Lou Cappadocia
All the best to you in this very important work.
All the love Vaness
Lisa & Ty
We'll be grass root'n for ya!!
Congratulations Vanessa, what an experience this will be. Hugs
Al Sov
Best of luck, V! Can't wait to see what comes out of this.
Marcello and Josie Tignanelli
Continue to use your talents and work for the good of others, Vanessa. So proud of you. We will be with you every step of the way. Be safe. Love you lots, Mom and Dad xo
Thomas Ip
Don't forget us little guys...
elizabeth dugas $20.00
Grazyna Adamska-Jarecka
Hope you will achieve your goal. Grazyna
What an incredible opportunity! I am so excited for you and can't wait to see what you do <3
Lynne and Marcel
What a wonderful and life changing opportunity for you. All the best.
Ben Pettella
Good luck Vanessa!
Julia $30.00
Sam Roy
Keep on keepin' on, sweet sister. What a blessing to be able to use your art to help others. Peace.
This is unquestionably incredible and undeniably deserved. I can't think of a more compassionate eye for this challenging project. Godspeed Ness.

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