In January 2019, Photo Start started a new partnership with a wonderful partner, St. Mary’s Education Center in Silanga, Kibera. The partnership started off strong from the very beginning with the full support of the Center’s co-founder, Mr. Stephen Nzusa. The students were not just curious about cameras but also eager to interact with them. They picked up fast and were soon amazing us all with all the wonderful photos they were taking, as well as the theory information that they were ingesting and retaining.
On 17th October, 2019, 10 months after they started taking photography classes, the students had their first mini exhibition. The exhibition was held right there at the Center, and it also coincided with the school’s Parents’ Day. This gave the parents an opportunity to not only interact with the Photo Start program firsthand but to also see the work their children have been doing in photography class. They were amazed, to say the least. The children’s work was on display for all to see. These images that the students had taken in the 10-month duration were terrific. They provided a first hand look into the lives of precious children living in poverty, while demonstrating their ability to learn and create at a high level.
To top it all, a few students were selected and given cameras to take photos of the event as it unfolded. The parents got to see the students at work, handling cameras like the pros they are, and actually taking photos of them. If the displayed work was not enough, this demonstration of skills earned the photography program the parents' favor and full support. A few parents went a step further and bought the photos on display as a show of appreciation to both the kids and the Photo Start team. The students were awarded their first Photo Start certifications, and that marked the highlight of the day.
To celebrate this milestone, Photo Start, in conjunction with the parents, rewarded the kids with a field trip to Stedmak Gardens in Nairobi, Kenya, for a day of fun. For most of these students, this was a new experience that they were not likely to forget any time soon. A good time was had by all, new memories were made, and we ended the school term on a high note.