Saturday November 10 was “Malala Day”, bringing into focus the fact that nearly 32 million girls world wide that should be getting an education are not. It is 1 month since the Talaban boarded a bus and shot a 14 year old girl in the head because of her message, “to educate girls”. As Malala seems to go from strength to strength in a hospital in England, her message has become even more emblazened, stronger and far reaching. The spotlight for the campaign in Malala’s name that has begun for girls in Pakistan to be educated, has widened to include girls all over the world.
I feel entrusted with that message, and have been working the past couple of years to help girls in Kenya affected by early child marriage and female circumcision to move forward in their lives through education. In a few days I will be leaving for Kenya with a team of incredible women, we will be running 2 photo workshops with 2 different groups, and documenting that process on film. Our workshops with Heshima Kenya and The Maasai Girls Education Fund will offer the participants the chance to learn the skill of using digital cameras, produce a small exhibit, document and express thier lives visually, and perhaps offer a message to the world.
I spent time yesterday in prep going through a number of different things, including a years worth of iphone photos. I was struck by how I was immediately pulled into the moments I was glancing through. Imagery makes the mind and the memory come alive. We often take for granted the access that we have to personal imagery through the computers, our phones etc. I am excited that our group will be assisting others to have access to that. We will be leaving behind photos, cameras, memories, and giving them the opportunity to use visual media to record events, tools to act in advocacy, ways to express themselves, and the idea that creativity holds an important place in life, especially in extreme challenging situations.
We are super excited to be meeting our ground partners in Kenya next week! Here we come Heshima Kenya and Maasai Girls Education Fund! Thank you to the Cameras4Change board for all of the hard work, organizing, shameless asking of favors and more, you ladies all rock! Thea Grivakes, Gillian Harrow, Barb Briggs, Kimberley French, Sol Garcia of Project X Impact and also to Shannon Kohli our DP.
Also huge thanks to everyone that has supported us to this point, we are proud that so many individuals and business’s have been a part of this!