Beyond Vision worked with street and working children in the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador. Started by the photographer Lynn Weddle and run in partnership with the NGO Juconi, the project aimed to impart photographic skills to the youth supporting them to transform their lives and challenge public perceptions. I co-managed the project from 2005-08 when PhotoVoice supported Beyond Vision to delivering project phases that saw youth trained as peer educators running photo workshops within their communities and pursuing vocational training with a prestigious local photography school, The Chantal Fontaine School of Photography.
A final stage of the project saw participatory photography integrated into Juconi's internationally acclaimed methodology for vulnerable children, recognised by UNICEF for its best practice. I delivered photovoice training with Juconi's family support to enable them to use photo methods within their wider family support and therapeutic work. Initiatives including photo dialogue exercises, building family photo albums, creating family portraits and other therapeutic photo based methods and tools were applied within the context of Juconi's family support, providing workers with new means to engage and support street working children and their families.
“Giving children who literally have nothing access to the luxury of cameras and images of themselves and their lives is a significant contribution in itself. From Juconi’s perspective the lasting impact of Beyond Vision has been bringing to the children a realisation that what they choose to photograph is a communication from them. This has led to the children thinking about what it is they are saying both within and beyond this project. These messages are found and put into words and are then available not only to communicate to others but also to communicate to themselves.”
Sylvia Reyes Director of Juconi, Ecuador