Among the black and white images on display was a picture of a hoisted national flag, captured by a six year old boy who dreams to become a policeman. This was one picture among the 41 images showed at the photo exhibition “Me through my lens” – which provides the first glimpse into the life of abused, neglected and abandoned children living at the state orphanage “Kudakudhinge Hiyaa” in Villigili Island.
The two-day photo exhibition open from 10:00am to 10:00pm is organised by two friends; photographer Hussain Sinan and Dr Aishath Saistha Rasheed, a paediatrician at IGMH- who have started a voluntary movement called “Voices” to help the children at the orphanage.
Speaking to Minivan News Dr Shaistha said that the photo exhibition is the “beginning of a series of events to help the children build their skills”.
According to Shaisthaa, all the basic needs of the children like food, shelter and clothing are fulfilled, but the children lacked the opportunity to harness their talents and skills.
“When we were young, our parents worked really hard to build our skills. But the children at the orphanage don’t have this opportunity. So we decided to help by starting to teach them photography,” Dr Shaisthaa said.
Under the initiative, a team of professional photographers taught the children the basics of photography. The children were then gifted disposable cameras and encouraged to take photos, out of which the best were displayed at the photo exhibition launched by President Mohamed Nasheed on Sunday night.
“Even these children have skills. Just like any children at their age, they wish for small things that bring them joy.”
She noted that the money raised through the exhibition will be invested to run more skill-building programs involving sports, creative writing and art.
According to the other organiser Sinan, 35 out of 41 photos exhibited at the gallery had now been sold for Rf 500 each. He also added that for every donation above Rf 199, a calendar with photos of children will also be gifted.
“We didn’t get the details on the past of these children. But these pictures tell their story. They have brought up what they feel through these pictures,” Sinan said.
Dr Shaistha and Sinan urged the public to help the children at the orphanage. “There are just 55 kids at Kudakudhinge Hiyaa. I am sure we can find 55 people who are willing to help these children, to make a difference in their lives”.
The exhibition provides enough incentive for those seeking the motivation to lend a hand to the abused, neglected and abandoned children.
The exhibition will be shown at the National Art Gallery until 10pm, December 20.