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Kids with cameras highlight diversity and disparities in Mozambique

Maputo, 19 October 2006 – An exhibition of photographs taken by Mozambican children between the age of 10 and 14 years opens on Saturday 21 October at the Centro Franco-Moçambicano as part of PhotoFesta 2006.

The exhibition Crianças com Câmaras (kids with cameras) is a joint photography initiative organized by the Mozambican Association of Photography and UNICEF to create opportunities for children to express themselves on issues that affect them.

As part of the project, more than 30 children in two primary schools – one city school and one rural school – participated in a series of workshops with professional photographers in October. Through the process of learning photography, the children looked at their surroundings from a new perspective and brought to light the diversity and disparities that exist in their communities.

Each young photographer chose one of his or her photograph for the exhibition. The photographs on exhibition illustrate how they see the world around them and depict various aspects of growing up in Mozambique.

The exhibition marks the 60th anniversary of UNICEF at the global level and more than 30 years of presence in Mozambique as part of the United Nations family. Giving children a voice and engaging them in dialogue and exchange on their own terms, within their own realities and in pursuit of their own visions, hopes and concerns has been one of UNICEF’s key guiding principles since its creation.

“Children have the right to express their views and to participate in decisions that affect their lives,” says UNICEF Representative Leila Gharagozloo Pakkala. “They have ideas, experience and insights that enrich our understanding of the world and the problems we face.”

In 1946, the United Nations brought UNICEF to life during the very first session of the General Assembly to respond to the millions of displaced and refugee children deprived of shelter, clothing and food in the aftermath of World War II. In the six decades since it was formed, UNICEF has evolved from an emergency fund to a development agency committed to protecting the rights of children, wherever they may be, no matter what the conditions of their lives.

UNICEF opened its first office in Mozambique in 1975. Over the past 30 years, UNICEF has worked with Mozambicans through challenges of war, peace-building, poverty, natural disasters and the surge of HIV/AIDS. It has also shared some significant successes, such as the rise in primary school enrolment from 32 per cent in 1992 to 83 per cent today and the decrease in child mortality from 219 to 152 per 1,000 live births. Today, Mozambican children are more likely to live beyond their fifth birthday than twenty years ago but mortality rates remain high. Every day, 320 children under five are lost to preventable and treatable diseases, such as malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea. AIDS-related illnesses are quickly catching up.  

The 2007-2009 Country Programme of Cooperation between the Government of Mozambique and UNICEF for the next three years aims to reduce disparities in the well-being of children. The programme supports national efforts to improve service delivery in child health and nutrition; basic education, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection and social policy, advocacy and communication. Interventions to support children and families infected and affected HIV and AIDS cut across all aspects of the programme.

About the exhibition

The public and the media are invited to attend the opening of the exhibition at the Centro Franco-Moçambicano from 14:00 to 15:00 on Saturday 21 October. The children who participated in the workshops will be there. The exhibition will be held until 15 November 2006.

For more information, please contact:

Thierry Delvigne-Jean, Comunication, UNICEF Maputo: (+258) 21 481100,    

Emidio Machiana, Comunication, UNICEF Maputo: (+258) 82 0305100,

Grant Lee Neuenburg, PhotoFesta Maputo 2006, (+258) 82 8871420,



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