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May 2006

Kids with cameras — Haiti

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Gigi Cohen worked with 12 children from a school for child domestic workers in Haiti. She has helped them to record their lives by photography, in one of several Kids with cameras projects. So far, in projects in Haiti, Calcutta, Jerusalem and Cairo, children have revealed the places and circumstances they live in, through websites, books and exhibitions. I’ll quote from the Haiti website:

Haiti, the first free African republic in the western hemisphere, won its independence from French Colonial slavery in 1804. 200 years later Haiti is plagued by civil unrest and dire poverty. Its rich culture is disabled by an adult literacy rate of 50% and a primary school enrollment of 54%, leaving Haitian children largely unprepared for adult life. In Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s troubled capital, 300,000 children are condemned to domestic servitude. This desperate system of indentured servitude is deeply rooted in Haiti and used by a distressed society attempting to cope with its most vulnerable — abandoned, orphaned or impoverished children. Children leave their destitute families or ill-fated situations, to go work for a host family, hoping for a better future. Tragically, they are instead exploited with unpaid 18-hour workdays, neglect, abuse and a denied childhood.


Sunday, one of four photos on the website taken by Satéla, a 12 year old girl.


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