Mali: Through the eyes of children
BAMAKO, Mali, 17 April 2011 - Twenty budding photographers participated in the EYE SEE intiative from April 13 to 17th, a workshop sponsored by Sony Corporation, facilitated in partnership with the UNICEF Japanese National Committee, and implemented by local partners The Association of Working Children (AEJT) and the Centre for the Promotion of Training in Photography (CFP) in Bamako, the capital of Mali.
UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi worked with CFP to lead the children in this week-long intensive workshop.
This training was an exercise in non-formal education, introducing children to photography, strengthening their social skills, providing a forum for vulnerable children to express their opinions through images, and offering a safe space for each to learn about their rights.
The workshop promoted children's participation and diversity of expression. For five days, young learners were able to familiarize themselves with a camera, photography techniques and the activities of field reporting. Girls and boys age 10 to 18 were selected to participate from a half-dozen management structures of children who live and or work on the street.
These includethe Association of Working Children and Youth (AEJT), the National Children's Parliament (PNE), the Association for the Advancement of Child and Youth Communicators (APEJC), Community Radio Centres (CEC ), Samu Social, Kanuya and Sigiyaton.
Sony’s EYE SEE iniatitive, now in its seveth year, worked with UNICEF in Mali as it had with previous UNICEF offices to offer participatory children’s workshops in Pakistan, Liberia, Rwanda, Madagascar, South Africa and Ethiopia. In Mali, Hidemi Tomita, General Manager of CSR Department at Sony Corporation, attended the entire workshop and shared the children’s first excitment of their encounter with the power of digital photo.
‘It is our pleasure to provide tools and opportunities for the next generation. This year, we will have a series of workshops in Mali and we are happy that there will be increasingly more children in Mali who experience communication and self-expression through digital photography.’ The CFP will continue using the donated material, which includes 12 Sony VAIO laptop computers and 25 Sony digital cameras, to offer additional workshops to marginalised youth and provide an opportunity for childrento play, and to learn about photography and social media.
A second training begins Saturday, 23 April, with a new group of boys and girls meeting every Saturday through the end of year. This longer programme will touch on digital photography, news journalism, copyright and ownership, writing stories, producing images for exhibition and using social media.
This collaboration for marginalised children was made possible through collaboration between the Mali-UNICEF programme, AEJT, the Centre for Photography (CFP) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), with financial and material supportfrom Sony Corporation via the UNICEF Japan National Committee.
Two exhibitions will be held. The first, with the thème "Together for urgent action for street children" will open on June 16th, on the occasion of The Day of the African Child. The second exhibition of children’s photography will tour Bamako as a mobile exhibit during the African Encounters Photography Biennial at the end of the year.
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