Robyne Hayes

I already knew photographs could tell stories, but I never knew how powerful those stories could be until I met Robyne Hayes. She helps local non-profit organisations over come barriers, like discrimination and poverty, and works to improve poor communities by sharing their stories through photography. The main issue she’s passionate about is Child Marriage. I learnt a lot of things form her, like their are 130 million girls not in school. Girls are most likely going out drop out of school if their married. Something else I learnt is that “In Ethiopia, 2 in every 5 girls are married before they’re 18th birthday and nearly 1 in 5 girls marries before the age of 15.” But something that really surprised and impacted me the most was a project she did in Ethiopia. She wanted to see what the girls stories were, so she gave them a camera and taught them how to use it. She told them to take a picture of what their lives were like before and after they joined the program. It turns out the girls and the women couldn’t leave their home because of all the chores they had to do. But then the men and boys started to help out with the chores. Some of them even enjoyed cooking. The girls were then able to go and play sports or learn to ride a bike. The women were also able to leave the house and relied less on the men. The community even started to value education after the program. Learning about this made me realise how easy our life is. Those girls didn’t even have any friends until they joined the program. Where as most of us have had best friends since kindergarten. We might complain how hard work is and how much we don’t like it, but we should be grateful about the lives we have. We have to remember how fortunate we are and, perhaps one day, try to give the opportunities we have to others.

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