Monday, June 13, 2005


In 2000, David Jiranek began a photographic workshop in Rwanda where children using disposable cameras photographed the world around them. This project was inspired by Rosamond Carr, an American woman who had lived in Rwanda for over 50 years and who had founded the Imbabazi Orphanage there.

Initially, the children's pictures were developed locally and displayed on the orphanage walls. The children also put them into photo albums.

In 2001, the children were invited by the US Embassy to exhibit their work in the capital, Kigali. There, the pictures were sold and all the proceeds went towards the children's education.

Also, in 2001, one of the children, 8 year old Jacqueline, won First Prize in the Portraiture Division in the Camera Arts Magazine Photo Contest. Additionally, the project has "won Honorable Mention in an international competition featuring professional and non-professional photographers from around the world."

The children continue to photograph with donated cameras and exhibits are being proposed across the US.

The founder, David Jiranek, was a Broadway producer, a writer, a photographer and had a passion for photography, for adventure and for working with disadvantaged children.

In 2000 David traveled to Rwanda to document in photographs the aftermath of the genocide that took place there. After he began taking pictures, he befriended the children of the Imbabazi Orphanage, which had been founded by Rosamond Halsey Carr in 1994, and taught them how to take pictures.

David's photography experiment with the children of the orphanage produced a great number of "astonishingly beautiful images created by the children which became the basis for this photography exhibition and others shown in Rwanda's capital city in 2002 and at various galleries in the U.S., including the Freida and Roy Furnam Gallery at Lincoln Center in New York in June 2003."

According to the web site, the children's work is "traveling around the US and abroad in an exhibition that provides a unique look at Rwanda and at the lives of the children affected by the genocide, ten years later. It encourages the viewer to experience the life of a country that is in the process of rebuilding, of looking towards a hopeful future - through the eyes of children ."

A list of past exhibits can be found at:

At the organization's web site, David is quoted as saying, "I want people around the world to see these kids less as victims, which they of course are, but more as a possibility. When you get a hug and smile from Frederick (a boy who lost both his arms) and think about the horror he has experienced, you know that by giving yourself to his spirit, even for a moment, the world can be just a little bit better for it."

David died in an accident in August 2003 at age 45.

UNICEF, in its publication "The State of The World's Children" recognized THROUGH THE EYES OF CHILDREN in their 2003 publication and said: "Through the process of learning photography, young people can develop and broaden their confidence and self-esteem as they acquire vocational skills and a new perspective on their lives."

THROUGH THE EYES OF CHILDREN also raises funds by selling prints of the children's photos. They make available a 13" x 19" exhibit print of the donor's choice with a donation of $100. With a donation of $1,000, the donor receives an edition of 13 prints taken by all of the participating children.

It's a wonderful experience to take a trip through the exhibits at their web site and to read about the strength of the human spirit. And the wonder of youth. So, please take a look at the site ofTHROUGH THE EYES OF CHILDREN at:

Through the Eyes of Children was brought to our attention by Blake H. Schmidt of "The World Through My Eyes" which is a very similar project in Mozambique. We thank Blake for his help and suggest that you also visit the site of "The World Through My Eyes" at

1 comment:

Emeka Okafor said...

Re Timbuktu Chronicles

Dear Mr Blayton,
Thanks for your kind compliments, Africa's challenges are not intractable a multiplicity of varied but self-sustainable efforts are key to their resolution. The key word in my opinion regarding your blog is 'SELF HELP' it might seem like a no-brainer but it is a most critical aspect that has been neglected for a myriad of reasons, thankfully that is now changing.

Lets stay in touch,