Founders of MAGNA

Denisa Augustínová

Denisa Augustínová was born in Bratislava, where she studied therapeutic social work and psychology.

In 2001, together with Martin Bandžák she founded the humanitarian organization MAGNA. She has launched and personally participated in most MAGNA missions around the world, including those in Haiti, Sudan, the Philippines, Nepal, Lebanon and Iraq. She spends 11 months a year in the field.

As the Operations Director of MAGNA, Denisa coordinates humanitarian as well as long-term projects on three continents with over 1,200 personnel in the field, most of them medical. In 2007, she participated as “Architect of the Future” at the Waldzell Meeting, where she presented her vision for treating acute malnutrition in the world.

In 2016, she was nominated for the Slovak of the Year Award in the Philanthropy category. She regularly appears at professional forums and conferences. She holds that nothing in life is as wrong or dangerous as fear when there is nothing to fear. People just need to try to understand each other a bit better.

Nepal. 2015. Martin Bandžák being treated by a MAGNA nurse during an earthquake in Nepal. © MAGNA

Martin Bandžák

Martin Bandžák, co-founder of the humanitarian health organization MAGNA, is also a successful photographer and a recipient of many awards. As the son of doctors, he grew up in a hospital setting, spending part of his childhood in Africa. 11 months a year he is on MAGNA missions around the world, because of his personal involvement with MAGNA.

Martin Bandžák was born (1975) in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now the Slovak Republic). He lived part of his childhood in Zambia, where his parents worked as doctors. His photography projects focus on marginalized people around the world, or those in crisis situations. In 2001 he founded the humanitarian organization MAGNA. Since 2002 he has made his home both in Phnom Penh and Bratislava. He is married and has two children.

The international jury of Czech Press Photo (CPP) has twice awarded him Photograph of the Year, in 2010 and 2017. His photography has also been recognized many times both by Czech Press Photo and other competitions.

In 2008, he published a photographic book on HIV/AIDS in Cambodia entitled "Lost Lives", capturing the suffering of Cambodians between 2002 and 2008 during an AIDS epidemic. A traveling multimedia exhibition accompanied the book’s launch.

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