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Rwanda, 26 November 2016: Children participate in photography workshop to celebrate UNICEF’s 70th anniversary

© UNICEF Rwanda/2016/Rusanganwa
Participants pose for a group photo after receiving their certificates.

 
By Veronica Houser

KIGALI, Rwanda, 26 November 2016 – As part of the celebration of UNICEF’s 70th anniversary, 16 children gathered in Kigali for a week-long photography workshop. With support from the National Commission for Children (NCC), the children selected for the workshop participated in a theoretical and practical training, where they learned the basics of photography and discussed issues related to children’s rights in Rwanda.

“I am excited to learn more about photography as this is the first time I have participated in this type of workshop. I am also eager to learn more about children’s rights and its application to photography,” said Affisa, a 14-year-old.

To commemorate these discussions, the UNICEF Rwanda Country Office plans to use the photos taken during the workshop to create a 2017 calendar, featuring various photos related to specific themes for each month.

© UNICEF Rwanda/2016/Rusanganwa
Deborah practices photography at a local market.

“We hope you will not only learn to be good photographers but also advocates for child rights as we celebrate our 70th anniversary,” said Siddartha Shrestha, Chief of Communication at UNICEF Rwanda.

Considering that the theme for UNICEF at 70 is For every child, hope, the facilitators agreed with the children to create an overarching theme for the calendar photos: hope and aspirations. After a participatory discussion and brainstorming session, the children developed a list of 12 sub-themes, such as education, health, diversity, protection and security, environmental protection, and hygiene. Linking these sub-themes to thoughts of their own hopes and aspirations, the children and their facilitators went on a two-day field visit to take pictures of Rwanda through their own lens. The children even took pictures during Umuganda, Rwanda’s monthly community work day, to link social mobilization and inclusion with the discussions on hope.

The week-long workshop concluded successfully with a large variety of photos, showing marked improvement in the children’s photography skills and understanding of children’s rights.

Cedric Bizumungu, one of the participants, thanked UNICEF for the opportunity to express themselves creatively and for teaching them more about their responsibilities. He added, “I learned all children have rights, such as a right to a good education. But with rights comes responsibilities, which we also need to follow."

The calendar commemorating UNICEF at 70 is currently in development following compilation and selection of photos from the workshop.

“I hope that my picture is selected for the calendar,” said Emmanuel with a smile.

 

 
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