PIGA PICHA (Take a Picture) Project
Aug 11

Exhibit Up In Ottawa!

Habari everyone!

For the first time in a while, the photos from this project are being exhibited in Ottawa. They went up recently at The Green Door Restaurant and will be on display until Saturday, August 21. So far, response has been quite positive so I’d like to encourage you to go check it out and have some yummy food!

The photos cover the walls of the restaurant but here’s a quick shot of one of the walls.

And some more precise informations: PIECES OF INNOCENCE
Une innocence en morceaux
Photographs by Kenyan HIV orphans / Photographie par des orphelins kényans affectés par le VIH

Presented by the Tumaini Children’s Project / présenté par le Tumaini Children’s Project

du 25 juillet au 21 août 2010 | July 25 – August 21, 2010
The Green Door Restaurant
198, rue Main Street Ottawa (Ontario) K1S 1C6
ouvert du mardi au dimanche 11h à 21h | open Tuesday to Sunday 11 am – 9 pm

Also, to stay on top of what the Tumaini Children’s Project has been doing this summer, be sure to follow @TumainiKids on Twitter!

Thanks all of you for your support!

Oct 13

Summer Workshop Recap & World Youth Conference

Fall is in full swing and we’re planning some exhibits for 2010 but we’re here to quickly let you know about something rad we were up to this summer.

Paul was invited to teach a photography workshop to kids at the Jaku Konbit summer camp in Ottawa. It was essentially a mini-Piga Picha workshop where he taught kids (and a few keen adults!) some basics in expressing themselves with photography.

Here’s a pair of photos taken by the kids:

We’re all super impressed with the skills each participant showed after even one lesson. Hopefully they all continue practicing around their neighbourhood! This workshop really showed that with after taking several hundred photos taken on each one during workshops in Kenya, Toronto and Ottawa, some of our cameras are approaching the end of their lives. Lets see how much longer they last…

Here’s a photo of Paul teaching the workshop

Also, in August 2008, Alyssa was invited to make a presentation at the World Youth Congress in Québec City. Pretty huge. She met tonnes of wicked people there and had an awesome time. This conference was so soon after our trip to Kenya and everything was so so fresh. Something she just found though is a book that details all the projects featured at the World Youth Conference last year. What a neat thing to look back on. This is being distributed worldwide which is pretty amazing.

Feb 26

Piga Picha Toronto

After the success of Piga Picha Kenya, in October 2008 we started similar “Kids with Cameras” program in Toronto. This time, however, we ran the program in the classroom of a  local public school where Joanna Weis (a member of the Piga Picha team) teaches grade 7.  Each of the 15 children, after hearing the  Piga Picha story, received a camera that had been previously used by one of the orphans at St.Clares during the Piga Picha Kenya project. It truly seemed to motivate the students in Toronto to hear of the children who had taken a similar adventure half a world away. 

Through the weeks we created various exercises and field trips to help expand their vision of what it meant to communicate through photography. In explaining why they had taken a certain shot at a certain angle, the students began sharing their feelings and thoughts.  The young students used the photography lessons as a mode of self expression and also developed critical thinking skills–this artistic and emotional development is so important to the discovery of their identities and their role as innovators, social reformers, and leaders. 

For the first couple of weeks while I got to know the students at the school I was constantly reminded of children from Kisumu.  Children regardless of circumstances often need the same things: a sense of community, a sense of being understood, someone to listen.  When asked to photograph their school, their neighbourhood, city, family, and selves the children often brought back photos that were not only poignant but also a distinct record of the times that we live in.  

Feb 19

Black History & Toronto Exhibit

Habari?! It’s been a while but we’ve all been pretty busy. When I last wrote, it was a few days before a one-night showing of the photos during a Christmas concert in Ottawa presented by Ferline Regis. The photos were well received and we were even able to raise some money for future projects.

More recently, we showed the photos during a Black History Month event at the National Library and Archives of Canada. The exhibition was alongside a screening presented by Partnership Africa Canada and the Colours of Africa Film Festival. Everyone was so nice and the screening, a presentation of four of the six episodes of Africa Dreaming was super interesting too.

Serious thanks to Godwin, Sanjay and Sarah at Black History Ottawa for inviting us to be involved with this event. Thanks again to Ferline for having us be part of her concert in December. A huge huge huge thanks to anyone who attended these events and is now reading this blog. After the kids, this is basically for you so hopefully you like what we’re doing.

Meawhile, Alyssa in Toronto has been crazy busy planning an exhibit at Tan Coffee (992 Queen Street West) for March. This should be pretty fun. If you’re in Toronto, please do check it out! There will be an opening on March 12…more info to come.

And now, a few photos from the two events I just talked about…

Dec 9

One Night Showing December 16!

This coming Tuesday, December 16, 2008, Pieces of Innocence, the collection of photos captured by Kenyan HIV orphans in July 2008, will be shown during a benefit concert presented by Ottawa singer Ferline Regis.

This Christmas gospel concert is an annual event and this year, the Tumaini Children’s Project was selected as the beneficiary! This is a pretty exciting opportunity for us to continue sharing the stories and hope with people in the community here.

The concert will take place on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at the Orléans Theatre (225 Centrum Blvd, Ottawa). Doors open at 6:30pm. Admission is by donation.

Come out and support this event!

Sale Is Done. Bits Of News!

The Pieces of Innocence exhibit at Foreign Affairs headquarters in Ottawa is now over. Thanks to everyone who went to check it out. I’m still amazed by how these photos made it so far.

If any of you have thoughts of the images, feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks also to everyone that purchased one! If you were interested in getting one but missed the auction, get in touch and we might be able to sort something out!

This weekend, the images will be on display during a private function in Parliament and on December 16, they’ll be shown at a Christmas concert. This concert is a benefit for the Tumaini Children’s Project and should be quite awesome. I’ll post more information about it when it becomes available.

Things with TCP are getting to be pretty exciting. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!


Pieces of Innocence Photos For Sale

Alright! There’s been a lot of talk about exhibits and all but never have each of the 16 photos actually been shown here. That is changing RIGHT NOW. For the first time, you can now see the photos that are on display at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa until October 31, online! I’m pretty excited about this. Are you?

Each photo you see in this post is being auctioned on eBay. If there’s one that interests you, you should click on it. This will lead you to the auction page where you can learn more about the individual photograph and place a bid!

The auctions will run until the end of the exhibit on October 31.

Proceeds from the sale of these photos will go back towards youth projects in Western Kenya which is pretty awesome. This is a unique opportunity for you to play a part in making a difference in the lives of Kenyan children!

These kids all worked really hard and I miss them so much. It’s amazing to me that their work has come this far. So proud. SO PROUD!

There’s more going on with Piga Picha and Pieces of Innocence too. Joanna and Alyssa have started a similar workshop at Regent Park Public School in Toronto. Alyssa and Catherine are planning an exhibit in Toronto and Jenny’s got things rolling in North Bay. Exciting times for us. Exciting times for the Tumaini Children’s Project.

Thanks to everyone for their support and for reading this blog to follow our progress! xox

Also, shout out to MoreTimeMoms, GPC Labworks and Michelle’s FrameMaker and Gallery. Huge support. HUGE!

Oct 11

The Exhibit Is Up And Photos Will Be For Sale Soon!

We’re a week into the exhibit now. Setting it up and the response has been pretty overwhelming. In Ottawa, CBC, CHUO and CKCU have each covered the exhibit. Sometimes twice.

A big thank you to anyone that has gone to see the photos already. A lot went into getting the photos created in Kenya and then finally mounted on a wall. The list of thank yous is way too long (you can see it at the exhibit) but really, it is so appreciated!

The photos will be up in the lobby of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa) until October 31. If you haven’t seen these photos yet, make the trip. It’s worth it!

In an effort to raise money for the Tumaini Children’s Project, a print edition of the photos that are part of the exhibit will be auctioned on eBay between October 21 and 31. More information will be posted here on the 21st but you should bookmark the Tumaini Children’s Project eBay page anyway!

Upcoming stuff in the works includes Black History Month in Ottawa, an exhibit in Toronto and another in North Bay. There might be some other events in December too but I don’t have the details in front of me right now so I’ll leave it at that.

Upcoming Exhibit In Ottawa!

Things have been a little quiet over here but believe us…they have not been inactive!

We’re just days away from launching a major exhibition called Pieces of Innocence in the lobby of the Pearson Building (Foreign Affairs headquarters at 125 Sussex Drive in Ottawa). The exhibit will be open to the public from Monday, October 6 to Friday, October 31, 2008.

I also want to say thank you, asante sana (Kiswahili) and ero komano (Luo) to some of our major supporters including MoreTimeMoms, GPC Labworks and Michelle’s Frame Maker and Gallery in North Bay. Michelle was completely stupendous and provided an overwhelming contribution in framing supplies for this exhibit. A lot of other businesses in North Bay supported the project too. Thanks to everyone for their generosity.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know what’s up but if not, this summer, a few of us went to Kenya to teach a photography workshop at an HIV orphanage. We’ve been back since early August and have since made presentations at the World Youth Congress in Québec City, Zoom in on the World in Pembroke and at World Global Health Day at the University of Ottawa Medical School.

That’s it for now, I think. More to come later. Leave a comment if you have any questions!

Aug 21

The World Youth Congress

I must say, it was an incredible privilege to take Piga Picha to the World Youth Congress in Quebec. With a warm atmosphere of enthusiasm the 500 delegates from 120 different countries set up exhibitions, gave workshops, participated in international dialogues, and went on the World Youth Walk.

The photographs by the children were exhibited all week and it was wonderful to stand along side and answer questions and give more information about the project and the children at St. Clares.  Later in the week Julie and I gave a workshop outlining the project with the hope of helping delegates create similar projects in their own or other countries.  There was a lot of enthusiasm about the project, and it was a great opportunity to discuss it with an international group.
All in all it was a truly inspiring experience.  The congress had an air of hope around it (and after all, “Tumaini” means hope!)  It was wonderful to meet other delegates working and living in Kisumu, to hear about other potential project ideas, and most of all to see the incredibly positive reaction to the photographs by the children.
All for now,