Tanzanian street kids tell their stories through photography

By providing Tanzanian street kids with cameras and training, Club Sanaa has them tell their own stories.

Msamaria Centre for Street Children is a registered NGO in Moshi, Tanzania that houses children who have escaped difficult situations. The centre is also the site of Club Sanaa, a project that gives underprivileged children a voice through training in photography. Since its launch in December 2015, the project has already held an exhibition, showcasing the talent developed at the centre.

The project allows the children to document their lives in any way they choose: “We are choosing to teach photography because we want to give these children and marginalised communities a voice - one that most often goes unheard. We want to give them a creative outlet - whether that be to express happiness, sorrow or wonder.”

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the project was able to provide the children with cameras and training. The work they created was exhibited at Kilimanjaro Union Cafe in Moshi. All prints were for sale and the proceeds went to the Msamaria Centre.

According to Huck Magazine, the project hopes to put down roots all over the globe. photographer Daniella Maiorano, who help create the initiative and train the children, says the children initially struggled to let go and be creative.

“They were used to being told what to do and were looking for a “right vs wrong” way of doing things. Thankfully, after a few rolls of film they got over that,” she was quoted as saying.

Maiorano added that Club Sanaa provides an outlet for creative expression and creative freedom that is otherwise unavailable to the underprivileged. “It’s one thing to read a news piece about street kids (or any marginalised group), or see a photo of them on a brochure for a charity, etc. But it brings a whole different meaning when you see photographs that they took themselves of their own world. It’s a sharing of cultures and breaking down of barriers,” she told Huck Magazine.