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The world through my eyes - Mozambique

Playing with a pot - Photographer: Miguel Home and Garden - Photographer: Kufo

Contact details

The World Through My Eyes

Address in Mozambique:
The World Through My Eyes
c/o Albertina Remane
CP 91
Chókwè, Gaza COP12100
Mozambique
Email the photographers:
photographers@theworldthroughmyeyes.org

Address in United States:
The World Through My Eyes
c/o Blake Schmidt, Project Leader
4534 SW 27th
Portland, OR 97239 USA
Email: info@theworldthroughmyeyes..org


Location

Mozambique

Aims & objectives

The World Through My Eyes helps Mozambican children learn about and experiment with photography, improving their chances of receiving scholarships at a university either in Mozambique or abroad.
Do you remember your first camera... taking your first pictures and seeing the results? Photographs record moments in everyday life: from a five-year-old child's birthday, to national leaders signing a peace accord. A photograph can change the world or at least one's perspective of it. The captured image is a powerful tool that influences the way we think and look at life.
Mozambique's culture and many of its traditions in music, entertainment and food are being lost or changed by hip-hop, DVDs and Coca-Cola. Photography can be used to preserve culture and traditions by recording the present for future generations. Photography in Mozambique is underdeveloped and underutilized and similarly is an important skill capable of opening doors to one's future.

Background

The World Through My Eyes was created in 2003 to enrich the lives of Mozambican children. The U.S. Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique helped fund the first phase of the project, which was completed in April 2004.
The main goal of The World Through My Eyes, during the first phase, was to expose young Mozambicans to photography and see if they had the aptitude to excel. Participants had access to photographic equipment and learned basic photography. They produced their own photography portfolios, received a program certificate, ten of their photos in an album and a photo CD. In addition to short-term enrichment and exposure to the creativeness learned through artistic endeavors, participants learned photography, which is a useful skill. This first phase proved that photography is of value and interest to Mozambicans and was well received both by those who partook in the project and those who attended the two gallery showings. The website also received critical acclaim. Many people mentioned the importance of photography in capturing everyday Mozambican activities to record them for future generations and share them with people around the world. This preservation and sharing of culture is one of the great benefits of this project.
The long-term goal of The World Through My Eyes is to create a permanent photography school for young Mozambicans. Currently, photography is not being taught at Mozambique's journalism institute. Annually less than twenty people study at the Center for the Formation of Photographers, the only photography school in Mozambique. There is a need for more opportunity to learn photography, especially for Mozambican youth. Most people don't have the money to buy books of photographs, see exhibitions or take non-essential photos. Music, dance and painting are the three most popular art forms in Mozambique. Photography has the potential to join this group.
Participants from the first phase may continue in the second if they chose to and over time other interested youth will be selected to join this group. As time goes by we foresee students working at progressive levels. A new idea is to train selected students, who have been with the project for a time, to work as volunteer aids in teaching others. Over time those selected will possibly become staff members.

Involvement of children

The children participating in this project are all underprivileged and a number of them are orphans. Young orphans in Mozambique find themselves in bleak situations. With few basic rights, they are often forced to abandon their studies and live on the streets. Many turn to child prostitution to survive and have little to look forward to. This project aims to provide these children with an opportunity they likely would not have otherwise, to own a camera and begin to learn how to become a professional photographer.

Funders

Presently the project leader is living with his family in Portland, Oregon. He is promoting the project, searching for funding and looking into making this project a non-profit and possibly partner with an existing group or NGO in the States or Mozambique. The project assistant is in Chókwè still teaching primary school and studying at night. He is taking computer courses to become more knowledgeable and proficient with computers. The participants are continuing their regular studies and are anxiously waiting to continue with the project assistant, on an interim basis, once he finishes his computer studies. He will work with the children during the weekends to keep their skills sharp.
The project needs money to be able to continue and become the permanent photography school that we envision. To help you can go to the “How to Help” section or visit the sales gallery.
Other help you can give is to tell a friend about the project website or email project participants to talk with them about their work. The goal is to recommence the project in early 2005.

 


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