A long wait at a community health care clinic led to an international photography award for a Brazilian boy who is sponsored through ChildFund.
Caio, who is 15, participates in ChildFund Brasil’s project Photovoice, which provides cameras and photography training to youth. He submitted photos to a contest held by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last year that was open to teens from ages 14 to 19.
“Teacher Daniel spoke to our class about the contest and nobody took it very seriously. I had an appointment that same week at the community clinic,” Caio says. “I took the camera and tried to entertain myself. While waiting, I photographed a few things I felt good about and things that made me very upset, such as a woman in a wheelchair who was in pain and waited for a long time.”
Caio’s photos were among 450 pictures produced by 77 teens in 33 countries. Five professional photographers, as well as a young doctor, chose the top 10 photos, and Caio was one of the teens selected. The other winners are from Argentina, India, Malawi, Pakistan, the Philippines, Slovenia, Ukraine and the United States.
The teens, including Caio, won the opportunity to be contributing photographers for the WHO’s Health for the World’s Adolescents report. The photos, all related to health care and teens, will also become part of the WHO’s digital library and will be used in future publications, and each teen will receive a $1,000 stipend for their work.
The Health for the World’s Adolescents report has been recently released – you can see Caio’s images here and here. We encourage you to read the whole report, which quotes teens from around the world about health concerns affecting their communities.
“I really like the Photovoice project and learned many things about photographs,” Caio says. “I began to see that a picture can speak. We can shoot and show everyone what we like and don’t like through the image produced. I made many friends, too.”
Caio’s been sponsored for 12 years, and besides the Photovoice project he participates in a computer course and sports activities held by ChildFund Brasil’s local partner organisation, Child’s Search for New Life – GCRIVA.
When Caio started going to ChildFund-supported programmes, he was a shy boy who had difficulty communicating and writing. But today he is becoming more confident and feeling more support. With the opportunity to speak out, he has developed better communication skills and interacts more with his peers.
“When I was younger, I wrote a letter to my sponsor couple, and I thought that sponsorship was only that: writing letters,” Caio says. “As I grew older, I began to participate in the sports activities, computer classes and now the photography course. Sponsorship is good, because if it were not for our sponsors we would not have that.”
Give another child the same opportunities that Caio is having in his life: sponsor today!