Through a five-day photography training organised by UNICEF Rwanda in partnership with National Children Commission (NCC), children were helped to tell their life stories and express their future life aspirations by using pictures.
The exercise was party of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which was founded in 1947.
Over the last 70 years, UNICEF has promoted children’s rights by fighting against child labour and any violence as well as supporting their education and uplifting their confidence to do anything they can to prepare their bright future.
During the training, children were taught about taking good picture focus that matches with their confidence.
Seventeen-year old François D’Assise, took a picture of a mother with a child in her hands which he interpreted saying, “When I was small, my mother always held me to make me feel safe. I noticed the same love from this mother and her baby, and I knew I had to take a picture.
Afissa Mukeshimana, 16, and Jean Claude Nzeyimana, 15, took pictures of a woman doing pottery to earn the bread for her children. They said, “Women like Makarusanga Zuraika are so inspirational because they work hard to build businesses and earn income for their families. Her success and entrepreneurship will create good lives for her children, and she can pass these values on to them.”
Gloria Uwera, 17, said “At first I was taking a different picture but this little boy caught my eye. He told me he loves coming to the market to help his mother sell fruits. He even tried to sell me an orange! My wish is for all children to grow up like him: with loving families and an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Aline Niyonkuru, 17, Affisa Mukeshimana, 16, and Claire Twagirihirwe, 14, said “Participation and working together are important cultural values. That’s why once a month, everyone in Rwanda participates in ‘Umuganda’, our country’s community work day. We want to encourage our future children to feel proud of these values.”
On another picture, Aline Niyonkuru and Francois D’Assise said, “Our wish is for every child to use innovation and creativity to improve the lives of people in their community… like how Christine, Emeline and Theoneste are using these local materials to create toys for children to learn through play.”
Valentine Niyonkuru, 17, said “Even when my mother had a lot of work, my father or my grandmother would take care of me. I saw this grandmother with her grandson, and it reminded me of myself as a child. The development of children requires good parenting, and this family is a great example.”