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Photo competition broaden horizons for rural children in Eastern Cape

Children see cameras for the first time in their lives
The photo competition organised by the German National Committee for UNICEF in collaboration with Fuji Film in Eastern Cape, South Africa has been going exceptionally well if the reaction of the children is the measure. Some 4,000 children from both rural and urban schools have been taking photos of their daily lives, in the hope of winning a once in a life time opportunity to travel to Germany and contribute to the fundraising campaign to build a school in the province.

Children from the cities of East London, Umatata and the deep rural area of Mbizana participated by taking photographs to submit in the competition. Around 1,400 students from 13 schools in the Mbizana area, which is 7 hours travel from the nearest city, East London, participated.

“I had to travel for 2 hours on horseback, to reach the school in Ebaleni” says Andile Dladlu, the coordinator of the competition in the province. “There are no roads reaching the school, which is located high in the mountains. The Ebaleni school caters for 176 students and has only 4 rooms in which 6 grades have to be accommodated. The children here have never seen a television or a computer, and did not know what a camera was. They were very excited to be given the chance to participate in the competition.”

‘The daily lives of students in schools like Ebaleni and many others in rural Eastern Cape are very different from city life. They normally have to wake up around 4 in the morning to start their daily walk to school at 5 o’clock.  It often takes them about 2 hours to reach their schools, which is generally overcrowded and under-resourced” explains Andile.

The children are all eagerly awaiting the return of the photographs they snapped, as for some of them, it will be the first time that they were able to capture images from their daily lives on their own existence.



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