She is a 15-year-old student in Nairobi. She was engaged the entire week, taking gorgeous photos, until the last day, which was the Self-Portrait assignment. When Babita noticed she was not taking any photos, she went up to her & asked, “Are you okay? Do you not want to take any self-portraits today?” Jane got tears in her eyes, looked away & said, “No. I’m not beautiful. I’m too ugly to take a picture of.” Babita worked with her for the rest of the day around the idea that when you do something you love, you’re beautiful in that moment. Jane loves to knit. So Jane & Babita wove long blades of grass together, incorporating purple flowers, Jane’s favorite color. They took portraits of Jane weaving. When it came time to caption her Self-Portrait, Jane wrote, “[my friends at KIOO] told me to be a courageous person and…I am beautiful the way I am.”
For our second partnership, we traveled to Nairobi, Kenya. Together with our partner The Supply, an NGO that educates children in the Lenana slum, students experienced photography for the first time. Forty-two KevJumba High School students & four of their teachers explored their surroundings through a 35mm lens. Equipped with photography skills, students discovered the beauty in themselves & the world around them.
“It was not only photography I learnt. I even learnt how to appreciate myself.” —Jane, 16