Changing Lives Through Fotokids

We Serve Fotokids Because …”

Photo © Marta Lopez/Fotokids

Life is Difficult for Children in Central America

From the very beginning odds are stacked against kids from Honduras and Guatemala. Twenty seven out of every thousand children born in Guatemala, die within their first year of life. More than half are born into poverty. And poverty tends to be self perpetuating. While education is free, only 60% of the students who begin the first grade finish the 6th grade. Fewer than 40% finish at the right age. A recent study shows that nearly a quarter of students from age 7 to 16 join the labor force to help support their families. Not surprisingly, more than a quarter of the adult population cannot read or write. So the cycle of poverty continues.

Fotokids Works to End the Cycle of Poverty for Central American Youth

For nearly 20 years, Fotokids has been working with children of Central America. They teach small groups of youth from the poorest barrios to use photography, creative writing, and computers as tools to examine their lives, their families, their communities, and their environment. Over the years the results have been dramatic. Documenting the issues surrounding them, student’s work has been published in books, and exhibited in galleries in Tokyo, Sapporo, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Seville, and San Francisco. Students who have remained with Fotokids have all completed high school. Many have completed college. This is remarkable when you think of the odds. And it doesn’t stop there. Fotokids students are all encouraged to pay it forward by teaching what they’ve learned to younger kids, so that a new cycle of success is cultivated.

Design4Kids Workshops Supports Fotokids With Week-Long Project-Based Learning Experiences

Twice a year, Fotokids sends their highest achievers to participate in Design4Kids workshops. These week-long, learning experiences give students the opportunity to serve their community while developing employable skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals. Workshops use a project-based learning model to foster collaborative problem solving, project management, creative and strategic thinking, and customer service. Working directly with a charitable organization as their client, students function as an agency to develop creative solutions to the client’s stated communication problem. They get one week to interview, write, design, produce, and present a draft communication piece for their client’s consideration. To assist their success, students are mentored through all phases of their project by working professionals from the creative, business, and communication careers. Each workshop is a win/win/win experience benefitting students personal and professional growth; mentors sense of contribution and knowledge of foreign culture; and communities through the professional communications produced for local charitable organization clients.

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