December 13, 2017

Weekly Download: Purity’s Story of Success

By Elizabeth

Our students in Kibera have been hard at work! One of them, Purity Adhiambo, has been a fantastic student and has progressed so much in the short time she’s been with Photo Start, that we decided to submit photos of her in action to the Dadas Lead Art Contest. This contest is aimed at celebrating the 2017 Day of the Girl by highlighting the art, essays, and photos of girls all over the world. All art and essays were a part of the overall theme of “Girls Goals = Goals Progress.” Purity has grown to become the absolute embodiment of Girl Power, and we are so happy to highlight her development and strength. And it looks like Dadas Lead Art were impressed by her too! Photo Start’s project documenting Purity won first prize in the photography portion of the contest!

This contest has been incredibly powerful for us to be a part of, and we couldn’t agree more with Akili Dada’s mission to empower girls in the arts — especially given that Kibera’s culture is often repressive to young girls. In Kibera, there are very few opportunities for women to lead, and photography is traditionally seen as a man’s job. This makes it hard for women and girls to feel powerful picking up a camera.

Purity came to us a quiet, young girl who largely kept to herself. Over the course of the last year of classes, she has become an absolute spitfire — she has no problem directing the boys and the girls and leading them through exercises. She is always willing to lend a hand, and has been a huge help to us as a mentor to her peers. Purity frequently helps instruct the younger students on photography basics, such as how to hold a camera. While she still prefers to be out of the limelight when out of class, the second you put a camera into her hand she snaps into action.

Purity has not only developed strong leadership skills and confidence through Photo Start classes, she has also learned to be a team player. She is always kind to the other students, and goes out of her way to ensure that everyone has equal access to equipment, subjects, and teaching aids. Purity is respectful and incredibly teachable, and we could not have picked a better subject for the Dadas Lead Art Contest. We can’t wait to see how she continues to grow, and all of the incredible things she goes on to do!

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