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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)
August 03, 2004

As part of Child Protection Society’s community based and youth development programming and in recognition of the principles of child participation, ten children and youth from the Highfield and Epworth districts of Harare have been 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. Assignments included topics such as "My family", "My role model", "My aspirations", and "My dreams". The work that they have produced indicates their ability not only to perceive the complex realities of their lives, but also to present it back to us - in expressive and beautiful images and words. CPS is hosting an exhibition of this work on the evening of Monday 2 August 2004 from 5:30 – 8:00pm at the Book Café in Harare.

All of the children who participated in this project are members of Child Protection Society’s Psycho-Social Support Youth Group in Highfield. The leaders of the youth group selected the ten children to spend an hour each Saturday working with Lucy Wilson, a Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow who has spent the last six months with Child Protection Society. The children were provided with cameras and black and white film, along with basic photographic instruction. As the class met regularly over the past four months, Lucy first asked the youth to write short essays on various topics. Based on their writings, the children were encouraged to photograph those same topics. Assignments were often drawn from the students’ own interests. Once developed, the images were edited by students and captions were written. The youth’s own community had the first opportunity to view the children’s work. An initial exhibition was held in Highfield on 31 July 2004 as part of Child Protection Society’s Youth Group Gala commemorating the Day of the African Child.

Support for this work has come from various sources. Child Protection Society would like to thank 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, as well all others who assisted in making this project a reality.

Child Protection Society (CPS) is a local child rights’ advocacy organization that was established in 1952 to promote the rights of children in difficult circumstances in Zimbabwe. CPS envisions a child-friendly community, which facilitates the achievement of full potential for every child. CPS’s mission is protect and promote the well-being of all children and assist them to become self-reliant, responsible citizens.

Visit the Child Protection Society fact sheet

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