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'My School' Fujifilm / UNICEF children's photo competition in Eastern Cape

© UNICEF Germany
Helmut Rupsch, Managing Director Fujifilm Germany with Ziyanda Nyingwa, winner South Africa, Yvonne Duncan, Communication Officer UNICEF South Africa, Angelina Strehl, winner Germany and Nina Ruge, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and TV presenter.

My School Fujifilm photo competition helps net EURO 85, 000 for UNICEF Germany Schools for Africa campaign

Munich, 30 August - Helmut Rupsch, Managing Director of Fujifilm Germany today presented a cheque for EUR 85,000 to the German National Committee for UNICEF as proceeds from public response to the My School children's photo competition mounted in over the past three months in primary schools in Eastern Cape, South Africa, and across Germany to raise funds for the Schools for Africa campaign.

Accepting the donation to the campaign at a press reception held at the Arabella Sheraton, Munich, Joachim Tomesch, Head of Corporate Fundraising for UNICEF Germany said the participation of children was key to the fundraising effort.  “Children told us their own stories about their own schools in their own way through these photos," he said. “This clearly makes an impression the public who could see the conditions of schools in Africa through the eyes of the students.” 

Fujifilm's EUR 85, 000 contribution boosts campaign funds already raised by UNICEF Germany for Schools for Africa, explained UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nina Ruge, who hosted the handover proceedings.  A big bonus is the pledge by German shipping company owner Peter Kraemer, to double for every Euro raised, up to the total amount of EUR3,000,000, she said.  In addition, donors can symbolically purchase bricks to build a school in any of the six countries.  

Present at the handover reception was15-year-old Ziyanda Nyingwa, a Xhosa speaking student at the Ludaka Primary School in rural Eastern Cape, whose class snapped the winning photo depicting the dire conditions for learning at her school. At Ludaka, one of the 76 primary schools participating in the photo competition, under resourced and overcrowded classrooms are the norm.

Capturing images of poor learning conditions 
Using disposable Fuji-QuickSnap cameras to capture scenes from life in and around their schools, some 4,000 girls and boys ages 6-16, from two rural and one urban school district participated in the competition.  The Eastern Cape province, part of the former Transkei homeland under South Africa’s former apartheid government, has over 6,000 schools characterised by some of the worst learning conditions in the country, as the children's photos clearly showed.

Lack of furniture, books, equipment, poor or no recreation facilities, no running water or sanitation, classrooms in a state of ill-repair and a general lack safe spaces for children, especially girls, are commonplace occurrences.  In addition, many children have lost their parents to HIV and AIDS in this province, which now claims one of the highest numbers of orphans and vulnerable children in the country.

© Children from Ludaka
The winning photo from South Africa by 14 year old Ziyanda Nyingwa from Ludaka.

Schools as nodes of care and support for children
UNICEF South Africa is working with the provincial Department of Education, civil society partners and children themselves in a number of programmes built around the concept of schools as nodes of care and support for vulnerable children. These interventions aim to transform some 2,000 schools into safe, child-friendly, gender-sensitive, highly improved learning environments for all students by year 2007. It is expected that funds generated by the Schools for Africa campaign will assist the South Africa country office in achieving this goal.

“The value of this photo competition in raising children’s aspirations while improving conditions for learning at school cannot be overestimated, and we thank Fujifilm for that,” said Bukiwe Fanta, Director of Special Programmes at the Department of Education in Eastern Cape.  Fanta, who is responsible for gender equity programmes, said she was pleased that the Fuji project had included girls like Ziyande, who are often left out of school activities due to gender discrimination and domestic responsibilities. "Even though the learners had never seen or used a camera before, their self-confidence and self-esteem grew as they immersed themselves in this project," she said.

The Schools for Africa campaign, a three-way partnership between UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hamburg Society for International Law, aims to raise enough funds to build or reconstruct some 4,000 schools in six Southern African countries, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. It was initiated by the German National Committee and UNICEF National Committees in developed countries around the world.

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Ten finalists selected
A photo competition initiated by UNICEF South Africa in cooperation with the German National Committee and its partner Fujifilm, organised for 4,000 children in three school districts in the Eastern Cape, is drawing to a close.

Photo competition broaden horizons for rural children in Eastern Cape
Children see cameras for the first time in their lives.

 

 

 

 

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