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The project that gives children a chance to tell their own stories

World Vision
5 February 2013 by Maia Woodward
The project that gives children a chance to tell their own stories

While featuring children in front of the camera is nothing new for World Vision, bringing them behind the camera is a much more recent development.

The idea is to open a virtual window for supporters to experience stories ‘hand-made’ by children and young people in the communities where we work.

I’ve been at World Vision for seven years and have seen how World Vision has worked with partners like Photovoice, the UK charity, to give photo training to staff and children.

The training sessions taught children the essentials like using a camera, gaining permission from subjects and writing strong captions to accompany their photos.

World Vision offices around the world have taken this model and are now teaching frontline staff, communities and children in a similar way as part of the Community Voice project.

It really is exciting to be part of this change where the communities and youth who were the subjects of World Vision stories become the storytellers, bringing their stories to life through videos and photos.

We believe that by being able to use communications tools and technologies, communities can be more active in decisions about their future, children can express themselves in new ways, and empowered citizens can take part in grassroots and global actions for change.

When I speak to my colleagues in World Vision and they tell me how children in Pakistan have managed to show their teachers how much corporal punishment effects them which inspired their teachers to behave differently, or street children in Lebanon who feel they’ve gained a crucial feeling of self worth because someone took the time to not only show them how to have a voice but to listen to it, that’s incredible to hear.

It’s humbling to understand the courage it takes to use your voice in the first place, something that so many of us take for granted. That’s what gives me hope for the future.

And here’s a photo captured by one of the young people we trained in Chennai, India. She called the photo You look beautiful my child:

Maia Woodward is the Community Voice Projects Manager for World Vision International.

Photos are powerful. Is there one that’s changed your views or perspective on life? We’d love you to share them with us, so drop a link in the comments section below.

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