2008 June
Jun 30

Introducing Blaise

Meet Blaise. Blaise is 12 years old. He is extremely bright, and has skipped a grade at school. He is incredibly respectful and eager to learn about the photography basics we taught on Saturday. Blaise is a natural leader and was quick to help the younger children who needed a little extra help. I am anxious to see his photos from Saturday, which we get back from the lab in an hour.

Tomorrow we will present the children with their first prints. I’m terribly excited.

Lesson One- Photography Basics

Yesterday we went to visit some of the older children at the Primary School they attend, and we gave our first lesson. It was such a pleasure to teach them. They are so excited to practice with the cameras eager to learn so that they could “piga picha”(take a picture). Here is the five finger memory lesson

1. Keep my fingers at the top of the camera.
2. Flash for inside the house, no flash for outside the house, the sun at my back.
3. Frame my photo
4. Stand one arm’s length back.
5. Piga Picha!

Here are Lorine, Christopher, Peter and Blaise shooting some of their first photos. My favourite moment yesterday was when Loriine ran up and took my hand. She told me, “I am happy today. I have never taken a photo before. This is a good day.” She clasped me hand tightly and then skipped away.

I cannot wait to develop the photos so that the children can see them.

Eve of First ‘PIGA PICHA’ Lesson

June 27, 2008

So far meeting the 27 Pre-School Children at the St. Claire’s Orphanage has been an amazing experience for us all. The last 2 days I have been overwhelmed with so many emotions -that I am finding difficult to express.

At the moment, I am writing this on the eve of our first indrotuction to the Primary School Children and their first ‘PIGA PICHA’ lesson. We are all filled with so much excitement that we are finally at the stage of diving into our project, as well as curious of how this project with the children will go… I cannot wait to see how the children react to the camera and to see the images they create through their own eyes!

We will let you know how our first day goes!
Take care,

Jun 27

We’re in Kisumu!

Paul here.

Jenny, Alyssa and I arrived to Kisumu yesterday morning. Joanna will arrive tomorrow and Catherine will come later on, in July.

Something that excites me is how much we were able to bring for the kids living at St-Claire’s. Not only are we going to be conducting a photography and art workshop but together, we’ll have brought about 300lbs (136kg) of clothes and supplies.

Here are some photos from yesterday.

Kids of St-Claire’s Orphanage

The youngest orphans, twins Marie-Claire and Marie-Clairette

Anti-retrovirals for the kids known to have HIV.


Kenya AIDS Orphanage Welcomes Canadian Photography Teachers

This summer, in Kenya, five Canadians, Alyssa, Jenny, Paul, Joanna and Catherine will offer hope through the power of a camera lens to 15 orphans living with HIV/AIDS.

As part of PIGA PICHA and the Tumaini Children’s Project, our small team will teach a month-long photography and art workshop to children living at St-Claire’s Orphanage, in Kisumu, Kenya, about 350km NW of Nairobi.

The HIV/AIDS rate in Kisumu is 15%, considerably higher than Kenya’s national of 6.7%, according to A 2003 Kenya Demographic Health Survey. Canada’s rate in adults is 0.3%.

Through this workshop, kids will participate in an empowering local and international dialogue about the needs and wants of children living with HIV/AIDS in continental Africa. Their photographs will raise awareness through an exhibition at the World Youth Congress in Québec City this August and, finally, future exhibitions, prints, books and other income generating projects will provide the orphanage resources to care for the children.

We’re all super excited about this project and have already seen the promise and potential of these kids. Stay tuned!!!

For more information or if you’d like to make a contribution to the orphanage, please visit www.tumainichildrensproject.ca

The Tumaini Children’s Project is a registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency (registration number B/N 888977790RR0001). Tax receipts can be issued for all donations over $20.

Jun 25

In Transit

The past month has been hectic preparing for Piga Picha, and it amazes us that we are on our way to finally meet the children at St. Clares. This morning we woke up in London- half way there. Jenny, Paul and I are waiting at Heathrow airport for our next flight. Tomorrow morning we will wake up in Nairobi and we’ll be that much closer.