I came upon this excellent article by journalist James Rupert, Afghanistan’s Miracle School for Street Kids Struggles to Survive Among the Wealthy (full disclosure: Jim is an old college friend of mine). It got me thinking about the ethical difficulties attendant upon much of humanitarian aid as currently practised by the United States. The vast [...]
This week at Media Voices, we have a trailer for a film that reminds us that poor children have a right not just to education, but to quality in their education. Daniela Kon’s film, Talibe, exposes a persistent issue with some Islamic boarding schools in Senegal, where teachers treat their students as cash cows, requiring [...]
This 114-page Human Rights Watch report documents the system of exploitation and abuse in which at least 50,000 boys known as talibés – the vast majority under age 12 and many as young as four – are forced to beg on Senegal’s streets for long hours, seven days a week, by often brutally abusive teachers, known as marabouts. The report says that the boys often suffer extreme abuse, neglect, and exploitation by the teachers. It is based on interviews with 175 current and former talibés, as well as some 120 other people, including marabouts, families who sent their children to these schools, Islamic scholars, government officials, and humanitarian officials.
In late October I received an email from a young man representing an organization called Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Kigali, Rwanda. It was short and rather desperate sounding: would I be able to send some money, the orphans were out of food and other necessities. I occasionally get requests like this because I direct [...]
This week at Media Voices, we have a film, Girl Killers, produced for Austrian Broadcasting by Marion Mayer-Hohdahl and distributed by Journeyman Pictures.
I met Bravo in 2006 at the Roundabout in Nairobi, the local name for the outdoor bus station. We were shooting Rescuing Emmanuel, our documentary about a 13-year-old Kenyan street boy and our naive but well-intended efforts to save him. Bravo offered his unconditional help with the filming and we began to shadow him.
A 2010 film by ILO-TV about child labor in Eastern Europe. Vulnerable children are open to exploitation that knows no borders. The huge wage gap between Eastern and Western Europe has led to increased migration and a rise in trafficking.
UNHCR research paper published in January 2011 on the increasingly common phenomenon of children accused of witchcraft. Often children are accused by preachers, who make money from exorcism rites in which children are often gravely wounded and sometimes killed.
Today, April 12th, is the first International Day of Street Children. This week at Media Voices, we have a wonderful film, Ukraine’s Lost Children by Antony Butts, courtesy of the Guardian, on the difficult struggle of the police in Odessa to reach children living on the street in subzero temperatures. Sullen and cynical, the children [...]
Nairobi street counsellor John Mbugua (Bravo) discusses why there are so many street children and street families and proposes registering street children so that they can be employed and have citizenship.
Film-maker Antony Butts spent a week living with Odessa’s homeless children – and with the police unit tasked with tracking down their hiding places in old water pipes, under manholes and in derelict buildings
My grandmother, Inderjit Khurana, was an amazing woman and role model for myself, the children she worked with, and for so many others around the world. I have always been inspired by her work, and by her undying devotion to Ruchika.
I have been searching for a way to describe Inderjit Khurana, a life-long advocate for some of the poorest children in the world, who died this week in India, leaving as her legacy the on-going work of the Ruchika Foundation as an object lesson in the spirit and power of selflessness.
Right now over 100 million children are raising themselves on the streets of this world. Orphaned by AIDS, abandoned, running from hunger or abuse, our most vulnerable world citizens are double victims of both extreme poverty and global indifference. In October and November of 2007, I was part of a documentary film crew on the [...]
This week at Media Voices we’re going to do a bit of shameless self-promotion, with a twist. We have been focused these past nine months on running and building the web site but on August 3rd we presented our first live event, Islanders Giving Kids a Chance, a film and conversation.
Communities of the world have united around many health problems over the last 50 years – we have eliminated smallpox, and sit on the verge of eliminating polio. And yet greater unity has been inadequate to surmount other public health problems, like hunger, various forms of malnutrition, child labor, and environmental degradation. Landmines continue to [...]
This week at Media Voices, we are excited to present a photo essay by Hilary Duffy, Young Lives at Risk on the Street: Central America. Hilary has been working on photographic projects for international NGOs, since she received an International Center of Photography/Johnson & Johnson Fellowship to document the work of non-governmental organizations on the [...]
We shot this interview with fifteen-year-old Clara on the streets of Mexico City. It took a lot of time and effort to track her down and get her to trust us enough to talk to us.
It seems like such a dry matter, a simple clerical act completed at birth, recording the details of a child’s name, birth date, nationality and family on a birth registration form. But for millions of children each year, birth registration never happens. Without proper identification, these children face obstacles that will follow them for life. [...]
Excerpt from Rescuing Emmanuel: undocumented children imprisoned with adults in Nairobi jails for offenses like vagrancy, begging and general annoyance. This footage was shot with a hidden camera.
When the filmmakers filmed a group of street children in Nairobi, Kenya, one boy latched on to them and wouldn’t let go. He is Emmanuel. He is thirteen years old, and he wants to go to school. He has no papers, no official existence. He is invisible.
Worldwide, more than a billion people live in slums, with as many as one million of them in the Kenyan slum of Kibera. Most of Kibera’s residents have to scrape a living outside the formal economy. Somehow they survive. SLUM SURVIVORS tells the stories of six people who live in Kibera and their remarkable courage in the face of extreme poverty.