South Africa is an aspiring emerging nation. However every third person still lives below the poverty line. With an unemployment rate around 25% only a small minority are profiting economically as South Africa is one of the countries with the largest social inequality. The township Khayelitsha demonstrates specific social day-to-day problems: An estimated two million people live in self-built wood or corrugated iron shacks, with most lacking access to clean drinking water, electricity and sanitation. In this rapidly expanding shantytown youth unemployment is above 70% and criminal gangs, violence against women and disease shape daily life (40% of pregnant women are infected with HIV). This is especially true for children who are most exposed to these circumstances.
Education is a way out of this situation.
The Baphumelele initiative provides education, medicine and shelter for orphaned children. Three dedicated teachers have been working in the township since 1994 and in the summer of 2012 we came into contact with them and their work. Where previously homeless orphaned children played on rubbish dumps there came from within the Khayelitsha community first a kindergarten, then in 2001 a shelter for homeless children and more recently a medical centre for HIV infected youth.
As we got to know the project better it became clear that the existing school is in dire need of further development and new classrooms are necessary for children to gain access to education and care. Although Baphumelele actively seek support locally financial possibilities are scarce.
The Capricorn Foundation – Baphumelele enables to offer Baphumelele their support in a legally transparent way. The cost of the school redevelopment is estimated by a reputableWe would like to contribute to this initiative by setting up a photographic project where children from Khayelitsha can photograph their world and share images of their otherwise unseen daily lives. We want to give 50 children from Khayelitsha access to two disposable cameras each so that for a period of two weeks with the intention that they capture any aspect of their daily lives, and follow their own vision of their world unhindered.
Once we have later collected and processed these images we hope to print and exhibit these vignettes in various galleries in Frankfurt, Berlin and Paris and from their sale raise funds to support the redevelopment of the school.
We would also publish 100 of the images in a book form which would also be available to purchase at the galleries, the proceeds of which would also go to supporting the redevelopment of the school.
We also need the support of professional photographers to process the images from the cameras and make the prints to be displayed.
As such a project also incurs it’s own costs are we are currently looking for sponsors to support us.
We invite you to help us achieve our goal either with monetary support or by donating materials we can use.