Jonathan May is a Sydney-based photographer. This work is from his portrait series on blind children attending Thika primary school in Kenya. He writes:
‘Bored and watching a tiny television while waiting for a domestic plane at Mombassa airport, I was fascinated to discover blind children playing soccer in Kenya. I knew I had to visit their school.
‘While the deputy principle was gathering some children to photograph, I noticed this young girl (Teresa) who was blindly fumbling her way from one side of the school yard to the other. I asked the deputy if Teresa could join us and I was told it wasn’t possible. Her family couldn’t afford the school fees and her mother was currently being told by the principle to take her home today. The deputy went on and said that without continued education at her age, Teresa would get left behind and struggle to integrate and engage with society.
‘I thought back to my own childhood and how at her age I didn’t have a care in the world. I couldn’t let Teresa go home on that day so I paid for her tuition for the rest of the year. It wasn’t a lot of money and that small gesture will give young Teresa some hope to live a more normal independent life. I now have myself an unexpected sponsor child and will continue to pay for her education.
‘This project aims to bring awareness to the daily struggles that some children endure, by trying to give you their respective visual impairment. Thika primary school is a non profit organization run by The Salvation Army.’ – http://www.featureshoot.com
To see the full shoot, with the photos also adjusted to demonstrate the visual impairment of the various children, check out Jonathan May’s behance page! http://www.behance.net/gallery/Thika-Primary-School-for-the-blind/2736925