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Photo Journal: …

Photo Journal:
Participating children were briefed to take photos that represent their daily life and to write an accompanying story that describes their life. A selection of these photos and quotes from these stories are presented here.
The photos in this presentation were taken by 18 children from the Amajuba district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The Photo Journal initiative was designed as an advocacy tool, with the intention of giving participating community members a channel with which to voice their life experiences.
By inviting children to share their views of life, the intention was to show the day-to-day reality of a sample of Amajuba’s children, who represent the lives of so many others living in the district and around South Africa.
In sharing their realities, these children set out to remind local government and non-governmental organisations about the type of challenges South African children face each day.
The photos are not air-brushed nor photographically perfect , they were taken by children with disposable cameras. Many of these children had never used a camera before.

Call to Action:
The variety of challenges highlighted by the children in the Photo Journal process illustrates the need for service delivery responses from a multiplicity of local government departments (Water and Electricity, Housing,Transport, Health, Social Development, Home Affairs, Education, Public Works).
The Photo Journal initiative forms part of a call for local government departments to come together to develop an integrated child welfare management plan for the Amajuba district.
Currently, few municipalities and local government departments participate in the National Integrated Plan (NIP) forum, which has been identified at a national level as a mechanism for planning the delivery of services for orphans and other vulnerable children.
Without the participation of each government department, most departments continue to act in silos and activities are duplicated across annual plans – whilst the vulnerability of children persists.
To have any hope of effectively impacting on the lives of children like those in this presentation, there is a need for all local government departments to participate in the National Integrated Plan (NIP) forum and in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) planning cycle.
Both of these forums have been established in the Amajuba district, but are not fully operational owing to a lack of departmental participation.

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Transcript

  • 1. Through the eyes of the children
    A Photo Journal captured by the children of Amajuba District
    KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    A HEARD Initiative
  • 2. Photo Journal:
    Participating children were briefed to take photos that represent their daily life and to write an accompanying story that describes their life. A selection of these photos and quotes from these stories are presented here.
    The photos in this presentation were taken by 18 children from the Amajuba district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    The Photo Journal initiative was designed as an advocacy tool, with the intention of giving participating community members a channel with which to voice their life experiences.
    By inviting children to share their views of life, the intention was to show the day-to-day reality of a sample of Amajuba’s children, who represent the lives of so many others living in the district and around South Africa.
    In sharing their realities, these children set out to remind local government and non-governmental organisations about the type of challenges South African children face each day.
    The photos are not air-brushed nor photographically perfect , they were taken by children with disposable cameras. Many of these children had never used a camera before.
    Call to Action:
    The variety of challenges highlighted by the children in the Photo Journal process illustrates the need for service delivery responses from a multiplicity of local government departments (Water and Electricity, Housing,Transport, Health, Social Development, Home Affairs, Education, Public Works).
    The Photo Journal initiative forms part of a call for local government departments to come together to develop an integrated child welfare management plan for the Amajuba district.
    Currently, few municipalities and local government departments participate in the National Integrated Plan (NIP) forum, which has been identified at a national level as a mechanism for planning the delivery of services for orphans and other vulnerable children.
    Without the participation of each government department, most departments continue to act in silos and activities are duplicated across annual plans – whilst the vulnerability of children persists.
    To have any hope of effectively impacting on the lives of children like those in this presentation, there is a need for all local government departments to participate in the National Integrated Plan (NIP) forum and in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) planning cycle.
    Both of these forums have been established in the Amajuba district, but are not fully operational owing to a lack of departmental participation.
  • 3. I’m losing out on things because I don’t have a birth certificate. I won in athletics at school so I was supposed to go to Durban for athletic competition but I couldn’t because I don’t have a birth certificate they did not allow me to go
    Slindile Khoza
  • 4. Sometimes I used to go to school without food in my stomach and sometimes I sleep and eat in neighbours and that makes me shy
    Kethukuthula Kheswa
  • 5. In the community where I live all the people use wheel barrows to fetch water
    Elsie Thombeni
  • 6. If it is raining we have to move around the house and look for the place where we can stay because the house is leaking
    ThembisaCindi
  • 7. After losing my parents my performance at school dropped and I repeated the grade because I had problems
    Xolile Dlamini
  • 8. I am 16 years old. I stay in KwaMathukuza with my two sisters one who is 14 years and the other who is 12 years. We stay alone because our parents passed away
    Nobuhle Sithole
  • 9. Our toilet is not safe
    Elsie Thombeni
  • 10. I find it hard to write by candle light because sometimes the candles finish and then I can’t do my homework
    Nompumelelo Nkosi
  • 11. In my camera you will find pictures when I’m cooking at home, sweeping, fetching water, going to school, eating with my brothers, sisters and cousins, washing my clothes…
    Nompumelelo Nkosi
  • 12. This is the third year my grandmother is applying for an orphan’s grant. The thing that I don’t like is that some of the people get this grant corruptly. They pay the people who write the files in the office
    Musawenkosi Shabangu
  • 13. …sometimes we run out of electricity because we do not have money to buy it. In that case we go dig coal in the forest so that we can make fire and cook, and it is a distance from where we stay
    NobuhleSithole
  • 14. Even when we want to cook we have to borrow a stove from our neighbours and they are sick and tired of us
    Thembisa Cindi
  • 15. I sell sweets at school. This money helps us when there is nothing at home like when there is no electricity, no food and no pocket money and when my grandfather doesn’t earn his salary
    Musawenkosi Shabangu
  • 16. My school uniform is a problem
    especially my school shoes. It’s like I’m walking with my bare feet
    Nompumelelo Nkosi
  • 17. At the moment I stay with my grandmother. My parents passed away and am not getting a foster care grant because I don’t have a birth certificate. They died without having documents
    Thabo Mbhele
  • 18. My wish is that one day I could get the orphan grant but the problem is that there is no death certificate for my father and I tried to contact my father’s family and I got no answer
    Musawenkosi Shabangu
  • 19. A note on the ethics of working with children:
    Relationships with participating children were established during research on HEARD’s Amajuba Child Health and Well-Being Research Project (ACHWRP: 2004-2007) and through HEARD’s on-going applied work in the district, which has involved identifying the capacity needs of a database of 400 civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in the district.
    Consideration was given to ethics at every stage of this initiative: in identifying, approaching and briefing children on the initiative, to subsequently selecting and disseminating the photos and quotes in this presentation.
    All children and respective care-givers participating in this process were briefed by HEARD staff and an associated civil society organisation on the purpose of the initiative and intended use of material.
    Briefing was conducted in the children’s and caregiver’s mother tongue, and thoroughly outlined the purpose and intended use of the Photo Journal content.
    In approaching and briefing children, care was taken so as not to alienate, or mark out as different, the children participating in the Photo Journal process - for whatever reason that may have been detrimental to their standing in their communities.
    All children and respective caregivers who decided to participate in the initiative signed consent forms written in their mother tongue and were placed under no undue influence and/or duress to do so.
    Where there were children and/or care-givers that were not comfortable participating, it was explained that there was no personal consequence of either participating/not participating in the process.
    Both children and caregivers were fully briefed that the Photo Journal initiative would not necessarily lead to direct material gains or quality of life improvements for themselves, their households and their communities. HEARD staff members confirmed with both children and caregivers that the initiative would be beneficial primarily as a means of finding a channel through which to express their voices.
    In choosing whether – and how – to further disseminate these photos, please be considerate of the process that has been followed and be ethically-minded in how you choose to use this information.