100cameras, a non-profit organization that empowers refugee children to capture their lives through photojournalism, will launch next month in Baltimore. The kids go through an intensive photojournalism course, sell their photographs and use the money to buy supplies, educational resources, and healthcare in local marginalized communities.
“We have implemented four projects in South Sudan, NYC, Cuba, and India. To date, our 36 student photographers have raised over $36,000 in photo sales that have funded medicine, food, computers, eyeglasses, and a protective fence,” says Claire Herron, the development director of the New York-based 100cameras.
The non-profit will partner with the Refugee Youth Project (RYP), a local organization that works closely with refugee youth in Baltimore. High school students from Bhutan, Burma, the Congo, Eritrea and Iraq will have the opportunity to participate in the 100cameras photojournalism program, which is designed to promote personal development through interactive writing activities, “photographer’s tool-belt” class sessions, and photography field expeditions around Baltimore.
The three-week course runs July 8 – 27. Post-project, 100cameras will publish the students’ portfolios and sell them on its website and at gallery events in New York, Baltimore, and worldwide.
As of 2009, 16 million people from around the world have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict or persecution according to a report by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). Baltimore has one of the largest refugee communities with an estimated 5,000 refugees in one three-mile radius. Youth refugees, especially, are predisposed to challenges including abuse, neglect, exploitation, violence, and school dropout. Despite being at high risk, these children are extraordinarily resilient. RYP, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, is building healthy and productive societies for the future by supporting the next generation. The program aim to develop refugee children academically, socially, and emotionally.