During intern training, our team watched the movie, Born Into Brothels. In the Oscar winning documentary, kids from Calcutta’s Red Light District are given cameras and taught to use them. Out of the project, an organization called Kids with Cameras was born. We liked the idea.
Here’s how we used it: after school, 12 girls from Bangladsh go to Uttam’s Place, an oasis they can see from their home in the slums. There, they study, learn, play, laugh, eat, shower, wash their clothing and smile a lot. Now, they’re kids with cameras who love to take pictures.
A key lesson they’re learning? There’s no one on earth like them…they’re unique, special, and there’s a pretty fantastic plan in the works for their lives. They’re learning some other key things too…
Our interns spent last week with them. We played, did crafts, shared songs and stories, ate and got to know them.
Getting to know the girls was insightful. One told me how her father is crippled. Another talked about her uncle recently dying. They’re all have their stories. They’re unique and they’re beautiful. They’re learning and having a blast at this special place.
Last week, they learned about photography and how like photos, each of them is unique and special. Smiles, laughter, interest, concentration, and joy infected each of these special girls. They took many, many photos and look forward to learning more.
The most frustrating part of the week? The stomach flu all 10 of us got. We’re better now, but not done with Uttam’s Place! The team goes back the next week…and even next month. I’ll post some of their photos when I get them.
We’ve taught the basics of taking pictures…and just started with a few details before getting sick. Anything you think we should include in our future lessons?
Note: Many thanks Fred & friends at Lawrence Photo in Springfield, Mo. They donated/gave great deals on cameras we took to the center that helps the girls.