Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shootback in Mathare Valley

The Mwelu Foundation is a self-help group operating in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi, founded by born-and-raised Mathare resident Julius Mwelu. Julius became involved with Lana Wong's Shootback Project at the age of 12, a well-funded project teaching photographic skills to children in the slum. Through photography Julius has managed to educate countless people around the world about what life in a slum is really like. The Gallery depicts this extraordinarily and the Foundation have had three films accepted into the Kenyan International Film Festival (KIFF). Ghetto Girl, Flying Toilet and Inevitable Pain will be shown along side other entries in various locations in Nairobi.

"Children have vivid and important stories to tell, and cameras are dynamic tools for this expression. Lana Wong started the Shootback Project to help give young people in Mathare the means to tell their own stories.

Here's an example of their work by Stephen Ochieng aged 12 :

The Shootback Project continues to train young photographers in Mathare today and their photos are displayed both in the slum and in international shows. Introduced by colleague and volunteer, Kami Munderu, AVIF hopes to assist this fantastic work by possibly sending volunteers starting next month.