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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Through A Child's Lens - Children's Photography Workshop to End Violence

I was invited for an exhibit at SM City Cebu where it promotes awareness to Children's Violence. It was very heart melting to see these children seeing the world in a different perspective. Being able to see the world and be aware of what is going on around is an advantage for them to find ways on how to prevent such issues like violence.
Fel - Through A Child's Lens
Children always have this positive input in life. They have the power to see things in a good way. Even if they are poor, they smile. Even if they are hungry, they laugh. Because of this, 20 high school students were given the chance to experience a photography workshop that will definitely turn their world upside down. The Exhibit will last until December 5, 2010 outside the Old Spaghetti House at SM City Cebu. Please do visit the exhibit and see what these children see through their lens.

This event will never ever exist if it wasn't for Wayne Manuel who won the Global Map Maker Competition of Google. He won $50,000.00 and donated it to UNICEF and that's the reason why this awareness program existed.

Below is the Official Press Release.

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Children’s Photos Sends Message to End Violence


1 December 2010 (Cebu City, Philippines) – UNICEF Philippines (UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.) and Share A Child Movement unveiled today “Through A Child’s Lens: An Exhibition of a Children’s Photography Workshop in the Philippines” comprising over 40 photographs taken by Cebu City high school students to express their views on violence against children.
Apryl - Through A Child's Lens
The exhibition is a result of a five-day photography workshop with 20 high school students, aged 12 to 16, from urban and upland public schools around Cebu City. The activity is part of Children Against Violence, a campaign that gives children an opportunity to express their views and opinions about violence. The Cebu workshop and exhibit was organized together with Share A Child Movement, SUPACA Youth Group (Sugbuanong Pundok Aron Sugpuon ang Child Abuse) supported by the Council for the Welfare of Children, Google and SM Supermalls.

UNICEF trainer and photographer Giacomo Pirozzi taught the participants the basics of digital camera photography and using the art of photography as a tool for self-expression. Many of them were inspired to continue the use of the camera as a tool for expressing their reality, especially in helping address the situation of children less fortunate than themselves. “The truth hurts,” says Jesse Arceo, 14, one of the participants. “My dream for the future is to be a woman who will show and shout to the world the reality that always hurts us.

Photographer and trainer Giacomo Pirozzi has over twenty years experience documenting children’s lives for UNICEF around the world. He has been holding these workshops for children in many different situations from Gaza strip to South Africa. To effectively share these messages, Pirozzi believes the children must first produce beautiful photographs.

“It does not matter if they are in Africa or Latin America, children relate to other children, they want to hear their stories and they identify with them,” he says. “When it comes to ask children and what they want to photograph, they immediately want to talk about themselves, their world, and their reality.”

The exhibit comes on the heels of the study “Towards a Child-Friendly Education Environment” which put forth findings on violence against children in the public school settings and gives insight and evidence-based information to aid legislators, media practitioners and the public sector on the sensitive topic of violence against children (VAC).

“Violence against children can occur in different settings— in schools, at home, on the streets, in communities, places of work, and on the internet. The physical, emotional and psychological scars of violence can rob children of their basic human rights. Through this exhibit, we empower young people to raise awareness on issues that affect them especially violence” says UNICEF Deputy Representative Abdul Alim. “Today marks World Aids Day. In the Philippines, recent studies show more than four new cases of HIV infections every day, a third of them among young people ages 15-24 years old. Children have the right to information at the right time to enable them to lead happy, healthy lives” he added.

UNICEF works for the protection of children against violence, abuse and exploitation and supports the government in its efforts to strengthen mechanisms to curb violence against children in all its forms and pushes for the anti-corporal punishment bill’s passage into law.

The photo exhibit of children by children will be traveling to various locations in Cebu and Manila to advocate the passage of the Anti-Corporal Punishment bill.

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Photography expresses children’s views on violence


“Even a simple picture can have a meaningful story,” says Judilyn Sagusoy, 16, a third year high school student from Pardo High School in Cebu City, whose photographs are part of “Through A Child’s Lens: An exhibition of a children’s photography workshop in the Philippines.” The exhibit is the result of a five-day workshop led by Italian photographer Giacomo Pirozzi, with 20 high school students from urban and upland public schools around Cebu City.
Abel - Through A Child's Lens
The activity is part of Children Against Violence UNICEF campaign that gives children an opportunity to express their views and opinions about violence. “When we started the workshop many children associate the need to possess a camera to the fun part of it. We need a camera for anniversaries, parties, to take photos of friends. We are in the Facebook Era and children love to share images,” says Pirozzi, who has twenty years experience documenting children’s lives for UNICEF around the world. “In the workshop, we say we do not want to use cameras like tourists, we want to think before we shoot, we want the image to carry a message.”

Pirozzi has been holding photography workshops for children in many different situations from Gaza strip to South Africa. To effectively share their messages, Pirozzi believes the children must first produce good photographs.

The photo exhibit is a result of the children’s field trips to areas in Cebu including Barangay Ermita, near the Carbon public market and the Inayawan dumpsite. The children also visited schools, to find out more about violence in schools—including bullying and corporal punishment –and to interview school personnel about creating a better environment for children.

Edmel Amance, 12, who wants to be an engineer someday, says his favorite photo was the one he took of three smiling children, happily oblivious to the fact that they were living in a dumpsite.

Pirozzi says the photos are impressive—proof of how visually talented Filipino children can be. Many of the participants were inspired to continue the use of the camera as a tool for expressing their reality, especially in helping address the situation of children less fortunate than themselves. “The truth hurts,” says Jesse Arceo, 14, another female participant. “My dream for the future… is to shout to the world the reality that always hurts us.”

Fel Labasano, 15, wants to be a pilot in the future, and was voted best photographer during the workshop. He says, “Now I really believe that photography can change the world.”

The exhibit comes on the heels of the study “Towards A Child-Friendly Education Environment” which put forth findings on violence against children in the public school settings and gives insight and information to aid legislators, media practitioners and the public sector on the sensitive topic of violence against children (VAC).

“Violence against children can occur in different settings— in schools, at home, on the streets, in communities, places of work, and on the internet. The physical, emotional and psychological scars of violence can rob children of their basic human rights. Through this exhibit, we empower young people to raise awareness on issues that affect them especially violence” says UNICEF Deputy Representative Abdul Alim. “Today marks World Aids Day. In the Philippines, recent studies show more than four new cases of HIV infections every day, a third of them among young people ages 15-24 years old. Children have the right to information at the right time to enable them to lead happy, healthy lives” he added.

UNICEF works for the protection of children against violence, abuse and exploitation and supports the government in its efforts to strengthen mechanisms to curb violence against children in all its forms and pushes for the anti-corporal punishment bill’s passage into law.

The photo exhibit of children by children will be traveling to various locations in Cebu and Manila to advocate the passage of the Anti-Corporal Punishment bill.

The Cebu workshop and exhibit was organized together with Share A Child Movement, SUPACA Youth Group (Sugbuanong Pundok Aron Sugpuon ang Child Abuse) supported by the Council for the Welfare of Children, Google and SM Supermalls.

For more information, contact:
Pam Pagunsan, UNICEF, ppagunsan@unicef.org, Tel: 02-9010173, Mobile: 0920-9276239
Jingjing Romero, Stratos, Inc, info@stratospr.com, Tel: 02-4332626, Mobile: 0918-9042415

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