Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Photo galleries of Haitian children struggling for education

This story gives impressive photo galleries of a mission in Haiti. Shabach Ministry is a church in Haiti that operates two schools. The children who attend the schools are amongst the poorest in the tiny island nation. The children's struggle to obtain an education is a difficult one, as elites in the country try to limit free access to education to better control the people.

A photo-video duo from Michigan were sent to the schools to capture images of the children. The photos and video will be used to help raise funds for their education. From the Grand Traverse Record-Eagle , writer Carol South tells us of the experience Jared Kohler and Caleb Harris shared.

A gallery of Jared's work can be found here as well as at his blog.

Walking a fine line between documenting stories and exploiting subjects, who are people and families struggling to survive, Kohler -- seeing with "eyes of his heart," he was told -- found dignity amid the need. While there's a hard road ahead for residents of the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, families and the Shabach Ministry invest in the next generation.

"The hope of Haiti is when you look at the children, see their faces and they're excited about learning," said Kohler, who took more than 2,000 photographs. "I saw within the church, the family unit is being encouraged and strengthened."

"I view these images as stories that have been entrusted to me," he said. "My goal with this talk is to effectively communicate the stories of people who live in Haiti."

Pastor Jean Heder Petit-Frere founded the Shabach Ministry, which operates multiple church sites and schools. Petit-Frere and Kohler connected thanks to the minister's friendship with Norris' dad, Scott, who is a pastor with Church of the Living God in Traverse City.

Struggling to help as many people as possible, Shabach Ministry has a 1,200-member main church in Carrefour that meets in an unfinished structure, essentially a parking garage. Two schools, one in Carrefour and one in the country, have seen student populations drop recently due to hunger.


Many students in the country, for example, walk for hours daily to attend classes. During dire economic times, the school cannot provide a midday meal so two-thirds of the 600 students dropped out. They would be too weak to walk home much less learn any lessons.

No comments: