• Kim Youdan

Children of Chilomoni

One from the Archives 2010 - Documentary Photography - Malawi

Africa is my favourite place - I know I know it’s a big place! The vivid landscape & vibrancy of the people is an endorphin. I may be drenched from the humidity in the back of a rickety bus on route to another destination but I barely notice as the variety of landscape & energy of the people make Africa so special & my #1 continent...SO FAR!

My brother Sam was volunteering in Chilomoni for a year with the Beehive Centre For Social Enterprise. I joined him for two weeks in late November 2010 before we both flew home for Christmas.

I spent my time capturing images for Beehive to use in their annual report. Updates which were distributed to the companies who supported their venture and made donations.

Sam was using his engineering degree and working within a team of volunteers to build a computer centre. The positive vibe throughout the construction site spread like wild fire through the whole of Chilomoni.

This short documentary piece shows the bright smiles of the children who will no doubt come to benefit hugely from the computer centre in Chilomoni.

Some of the children helped when we arrived at the school, unloading charity donations, various supplies such as books and toilet rolls.

Elizabeth nudged in to get her photo taken, she was so pleased to be centre stage. Her family couldn't afford the royal blue uniform worn by the majority of children. I don't think that phased her at all, I felt like Elizabeth was just thrilled to be at school.

Boys will be boys! After dropping off charity donations and supplies to the local primary school in Chilomoni, we got chased down the road, luckily this rapscallion didn't throw the rock!

The preschool hall also housed all the fire wood for the outside school kitchen. The women cooked food for the children and for workers at the computer centre construction site which wasn't far away. These cheeky chaps didn't care at all and were just happy to play games, run around and be with other children

Heads shoulders knees and toes! Lots of songs were sung and lots of running around the play room at Chilomoni Pre School. It was sad to see toys and games stacked in the corner of the room; local women looking after the children didn't know how to use the games that had been donated so they gathered dust and remained unused, but this didn't deter the children from having lots of fun.

These 3 ladies outside the main preschool play room were a little more suspicious of the camera. It wasn't a good attempt at hiding behind the wall but the wall was great for posing on!

Finally we got to spend the journey home with a handful of kids who lived near the volunteers house. Time to catch up on the days events and chat about whats in store for their evening. A wonderful experience that made me feel like a guest rather than a tourist.

One of my favourite images from this trip to Malawi. When started to create my hand-ainted photography this was one of my first works of art.

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