Four weeks ago I returned from Uganda, having paid another visit to Eden School. A school which is located in the Southwest corner of the country not far from the border with Rwanda and DRC.
Returning in 2016, I was continuing my project ‘Give a child a camera’ which saw me travel to the country loaded with 35mm & digital cameras, ready to start the next leg of the project.
Last year, having taught a group of 24 children photography I was quite simply blown away by the quality and original nature of their photography, it was amazing.
Returning this year, I taught a new group of children, along with many from last year and I’m pleased to say the results were incredible. I arrived to be greeted by children proudly pointing out all the parts of the camera, clearly the lesson plans I left last year had worked a treat!
The proudest moment was seeing the students from last year, turn up to my photography lesson, each of them with their cameras, in superb condition and so loved. I had a tear in my eye!
As well as teaching photography and letting the children photograph their life, I also continued teaching the teachers on the principles of photography, as well as sorting a photo room, a room for images to be shown and where all the cameras are stored in newly built locked cabinets.
Thanks to lots of lovely people who helped fund the project I was also able to provide the school with a superb music keyboard, paying for a music teacher, lots of materials for education (including dozens of new teaching books and manuals) a new school vegetable garden (with lots of seeds) to help the director make the school a little more sustainable, as well as a brand new sanitation block. This is without doubt the best around the area and provides the school with permanent toilets, offering privacy and hygiene with water and soap. A vast improvement.
Back to the photography and in particular the children’s images… you will see I have included a couple of the highlights… wonderfully emotive images that capture the heart. I decided to give three students engraved trophies for the best images..something they were of course rather excited about.
This year, given we now had a superb photographic room it was decided an exhibition of all the images would be held, with invites going to all parents and guardians, who came out in force to enjoy an afternoon of tea, bread and stunning photography. A real highlight.
Last year, I exhibited the children’s images alongside my own images at the Forum in Norwich which proved a great success. At the moment I do not have plans to exhibit images from this year, however, if the general feeling is to exhibit, then I will try and find a suitable (and hopefully free) venue.
So… what next? Well, returning to Rwanda I was invited to visit a small deaf school three hours from Kigali. The director is keen to bring my project to the school, a move which I believe will help the students no end. After all, these students will be visually stimulated.
if you feel you would like to financially support this project (Give a child a camera) please do get in touch.
Information on last year’s project is available by visiting the Wex Photographic blog page