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Tom Hewitt MBE who founded Umthombo, the South Africa street child project (and who's married to a former street child himself), showing photos to Andy Baines and Bishop Nick
On Wednesday 3 October, Bishop Nick launched a photo exhibition at Bradford Cathedral depicting the lives of children who live on the streets in Africa.
Hosted by Street Action, a charity who act as a partner with street child projects in Kenya, Burundi and South Africa, the exhibition has been organised by the Bishop's son, Andy Baines, along with two of the photographers, Lizzie Everard and Bex Morton.
Andy says,"The pull of the streets seems incomprehensible in light of the abuse and deprivation these children face there, but many opt for the streets as a way of escaping the extreme social and economic circumstances in their communities."
Lizzie says, "I was hugely moved by how these children will create quasi family units amongst themselves when they've often had no parenting and have run away from violent homes. And despite the trauma of their lives, many have a tenacious spirit of survival, and it's about finding the spark in the eyes, the grain of hope that can be nurtured."
Andy adds, "I was continually astounded by the children's stories when I spent 6 months with the projects in South Africa and Burundi - from young Derek, who arrived alone on Burundi's streets aged two but who's now at school, to 13 year old Nthando in Durban who's become South African surfing champion through the charity's rehabilitation programme. Street action tries to help these kids escape a life of danger and destitution by finacially supporting the projects and by raising awareness of the issues the kids face in order to create longer lasting change. This exhibition aims to do exactly that, offering a glimpse into some of these children's lives".
Bishop Nick says,"The photos offer a moving and challenging insight into the lives of the street children. They're on the streets due to a multitude of poverty related issues and their lives can be extremely traumatic: the fact that many of these photos show beaming and affectionate children makes them all the more poignant."
The exhibition continues until 26 October, and is open until 4.40pm each day. www.streetaction.org/ourstreets
Contact: Andy Baines, 020 7939 9454 / 07856 063860