A Photo Opportunity for Street Children
An Exhibition for Rwanda Aid
If someone were to set the challenge of taking seven penniless young people from the streets of south-western Rwanda, and within the space of six days turning them into professional photographers, you would be forgiven for thinking they had drunk too much local banana beer.
Yet over Easter 2014 this is what prep school head, Richard Follett, and professional photographer, Alessandro Quisi, managed to achieve. To begin with they encountered suspicious, even hostile, young people, who had so often been let down by adults in
their short lives.
But as the teachers worked with the group, the hostility gradually turned to enthusiasm and excitement and the young people began to believe in themselves and their future. The students’ remarkable photographs in this exhibition were taken after just one week’s training.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to do this course. I don’t think I am very good at taking photos, but you have made me believe in myself and I have more confidence now than I can remember.” Leoncie
The students have now formed a small business co-operative. Thanks to the generosity of a Vinehall parent, each student has his/her own camera, and they have a small studio in which to work with a printer and other necessary equipment. Initially their plan is to visit villages and offer individual or family prints at very low prices, and already they are busy with orders. They also plan to produce fliers for local businesses. Rwanda Aid is a UK registered charity (No 1124634) dedicated to supporting and training the vulnerable and disadvantaged in South West Rwanda. It works closely with the Rwandan National Commission for Children to identify and support children abandoned to the street, wherever possible re-integrating them into their families or giving them the skills to lead responsible, dignified and independent lives.
Exhibition Dates 2014
13th – 28th September – Rye Festival
Rye Studio School, The Grove, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7NQ
2nd to 3rd October – 1066 Gallery
The High Street, Battle, East Sussex.
(At the rear of Costa Coffee)
4th November – Kigali, Rwanda
25th November 2014 – Devonshire House School,
26th November 2014 – King’s House School,
27th November 2014 – Wetherby School,
2nd December – De La Rue PLC, Basingstoke
3rd December – Beazley, London
4th December – The Gresham Centre, Gresham Street,
London, EC2V 7BX
All proceeds from sales of the photographs will go towards training other poor and vulnerable young people in Rwanda and setting them up in small, co-operative businesses