THROUGH MY EYES
A Photo Project By The Students Of Somwang School
While visiting Somwang School, we were thinking of ways to involve our students more, how to give them a voice and find a space and medium for them to express themselves. For two days each, we gave 12 students a camera and asked them to take pictures of their lives outside of the school, showing it the way they perceive it. The goal of this series was particularly to give a voice to these students; to allow them to express themselves through an unforgivably subjective and powerful tool: the camera. What we ended up with were some deeply touching and intimate pictures of finding hope in dire circumstances. The following pictures are these children's sincere perception of the world - a world that we would like to share with you.
Sai Yu has been with us for quite some time now. One of the oldest boys at Somwang, he is a hard-working student, a helper by nature, and though he looks a bit serious here, is actually a fun-loving boy. As you will see, he has a great eye for photography too. He came back with over 250 pictures after two days and it was obvious that he put a lot of work and thought into his pictures, often taking numerous photos of the same subject from various angles. Thank you for sharing your home with us, Sai Yu, and keep up the great work!
Nang Seng is one of the girls who has joined Sowang more recently. Every time new students come to Somwang, our headteacher takes them through a fun interview to help break the ice, thus giving them a chance to tell a little bit about themselves and helping the other kids to get to know them. That way children are more quickly and easily integrated into this new place that is still foreign to them, but has felt like home for others for years already. Nang Seng has definitely made many friends since being there, and the dedication and determination she brings to learning is just a joy to watch.
Sai Kham has been at Somwang ever since we opened the school back in 2013. He is a curious student and a great friend who loves to have fun and play games with the other boys at school. Like many of his friends, Sai Kham lives among the endless acres of orange plantations where his parents work and make only a very minimal wage of $3 a day. If you want to find out more about his life, take a look at his beautiful pictures below.
We decided to dedicate this month's post to Nang Lu and her younger sister and brother. We just learned that the three of them left Thailand with their mom and dad in order to move back home to Myanmar/Burma. We will miss them a lot. All three of them brought incredible joy and intelligence to Somwang, and we hope that wherever they go, their light will keep shining on and fill people's hearts with smiles.
Meet Sai Khur I
Sai Khur I is 10 years old and currently in Grade 3. He has been coming to our "School for Kids far from Home" (the name that the children have given Somwang) ever since we opened. Seemingly shy, he is a very bright young man. His favorite color is green and he loves Mangoes. One day, he hopes to become a teacher.
Meet Sai Lake
Sai Lake is 12 years old and one of our oldest students. He has been a student at Somwang ever since we opened the school. Among all of us he is known as the mentor, always helping out the teachers and even sometimes teaching the younger students when he is done with his own work. He is an incredibly smart boy and wants to become a doctor when he grows up. He is from the Shan community and lives with his dad and stepmother and older sister, all of whom are orange plantation workers, making him even more grateful to be at Somwang as he realizes that his education is his best chance to escape that same fate. Here's a glimpse into his life...