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Perceptions from The Child’s Eye - An exhibition of photographs and writing by children and youth from the suburbs of Harare
Child Protection Society (CPS)
July 27, 2004

An insightful and remarkable exhibition that explores the realities of children’s lives in the suburbs of Harare is taking place at the Book Café on the evening of Monday 02 August 2004 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. The exhibition, entitled "Perceptions from the Child’s Eye", is spectacular in that it focuses on photographs taken by the children themselves, with the children’s own words adding insight and depth to the visual images.

This photographic project has been undertaken as part of Child Protection Society’s community based and youth development programming. Child Protection Society (CPS) is a local non-governmental organization that was established in 1952 to promote the rights of children in difficult circumstances in Zimbabwe.

In recognition of child participation principles, ten youth were taught the basics of photography, given cameras and black and white film, and led through various writing and photography assignments. These assignments asked the youth to visually and literally reflect and comment on the realities of their lives. The youth’s work vividly encompasses their humour, sadness, love, and joy, along with the entire spectrum of emotions.

The exhibition is wonderful in that it is one of the few opportunities for children to express themselves in the public realm. Often adults, and most likely outsiders, take the photographs that we see of children living in difficult circumstances. These photographs are special in that they are taken by the children themselves, insiders to their communities and lives.

Adults so often forget that children have remarkable capabilities. Through this project, we are reminded how much the young people already know, how much they are able to perceive and understand about their lives, and how beautifully they can express themselves.

The exhibition on the evening of August 2nd will also feature invited guests speaking on the importance of child participation, live music, and photographs documenting Child Protection Society’s work and community taken by Child Protection Society staff. Entry is free and all are welcome.

An exhibition of the work will also be happening in Highfield on Saturday 31 July 2004 as part of the Child Protection Society’s Youth Group Gala at Mhofu Primary School. It will be open from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Child Protection Society’s vision is "a child-friendly community, which facilitates the achievement of full potential for every child."

It is hoped that this exhibition will not only raise awareness on the situations facing children in Harare, but also inspire viewers with a similar vision for a "child-friendly community".

Supporters of this project include the Lewis Hine Documentary Initiative, Strachan’s Photographic, Catholic Relief Services/Zimbabwe – The STRIVE Project, Swedish International Development Cooperative Agency (Sida), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Visit the Child Protection Society fact sheet

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