The Global Issues Service Summit is pleased to partner with Conto Contigo.



The Project:

In September 2010, 10 children from two neighborhoods in Maputo – Polana Caniço ‘A’ and Matola ‘H’ - were selected to take part in the Conto Contigo project. The children, aged between 10 and 16, have benefited from essential services provided by local organization, Kindlimuka, through the Scale Up Hope Program; a community care and support program implemented by Save the Children, the Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI) and local partners from 2004 to 2010 with support from the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR. As part of a broader effort to document the context and impact of the Scale Up Hope program, the children were asked to capture aspects of their everyday lives through drawings and photographs.



The Process:

Over the course of two months, the children attended a total of 6 workshops where they learned how to use a digital camera, how to work with images and colors, and were introduced to the work of Mozambican artists. Between each workshop, the children drew pictures and took photos at home and in their neighborhood – sometimes on their own and sometimes on joint outings, accompanied by members of the project team. Finally, the children themselves selected the photos and drawings they wanted to be included in the exhibition.


The Exhibition:

Through the images and words of the children, we catch a glimpse of their lives and the things that are important to them: going to school and learning new skills; playing with other children; the mothers, grandparents and aunts, who take care of them; food; things of beauty: colors, plants, the beach, houses. Behind these images are also stories of loss: a red jacket given to a daughter by her mother shortly before she died; and stories of sickness: the streets of the neighborhood being reclaimed as ‘my space’ again when poor health previously prevented the child from playing outside.



The Impact:

In the space of just two months, the transformation these children have undergone is remarkable. As their self-esteem has increased, they have opened up to new friendships and challenges, showing how eager they are to learn and how much potential they have when given the right opportunities. Being part of Conto Contigo has meant acquiring knowledge and experience of creating art; gaining recognition and respect for their skills from peers, elders and neighbors; being part of a team with other children and adults, who show interest in their ideas and achievements; having new hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future: to become a doctor, a photographer, an artist…