“My View” was a self initiative project with the aim of teaching kids from an Orphanage how to take photographs.
The concept was to help the children to use photography as a means of observing their surroundings and expressing to others the world through their eyes. By use of these means, an improvement in communication skills and increased self esteem was truly evident. Using the camera as their avenue of expression they have been afforded the opportunity to share their vision with the community and the world.
The Photography was also a way to create / increase awareness of the orphanage in the community, and the need to help it.
Besides improving the current conditions of the children in their daily life at the orphanage, I also had the big ambition of giving them a better future.
“Estrela do Mar” Orphanage
I chose the Orphanage “Estrela do Mar” located in Mozambique, in the city of Inhambane.The centre takes in orphans and vulnerable children. It belongs to the government and faces a lot of difficulties providing care for the kids. It is a place where children are only meant to stay for a short time, until their situation is resolved, However financial problems keep the kids here for a long time.
At this moment there are 29 kids living here , from all over Mozambique ranging in age from 6 months to 14 years old, and they are here for various reasons.
Goals of the project:
- To realise a graphic expression of their world through the lens of a camera.
- To remind them that they have an important role to play in the community
- To Create awareness within the community for the orphanage using the exhibits as a focal point.
- To Raise funds to purchase items such as beds, mattresses etc that will directly improve their day to day life as well as instilling a sense of permanence to their immediate surroundings.
- Help improving the management of the Orphanage.
- Give a better future to the kids.
How was the work done?
During the 8 weeks the kids learned how to operate a camera as well as receiving a few basic structured photographic tutorials.
The photographs were organized per area: city, the orphanage, school, a friend and self portrait.
After each activity they reviewed the results in a computer and chose their favourite shots.
They also held workshops where the kids could tell the others who they were, what their dreams consisted of and other information and stories that they wanted to share.
At the end of the 8 weeks each kid choose one photograph for each area / theme and organized an exhibition in the orphanage, with a traditional African folk band. The event helped to raiise funds for clothes, shoes, etc...
Besides the photography work what else happened?
1) Management and organization of the Orphanage.
5) Daily needs of the orphanage
7) Relocation of the kids in their families, adoptive families, other orphanage or stay in this one.