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    Republic of Liberia

    country information
    Capital Monrovia
    Population 3.28 million
    Area 111,370km2
    Official Languages English, tribal languages
    Major industry Mining (iron ore), agriculture and forestry (natural rubber, timber)
    Under-five mortality 235/1,000
    Population with access to improved water sources 61%
    Average life expectancy 45 years old
    Gross National Income (GNI) per capita USD 140
    Population living on less than USD 1.25 per day 36%
    Literacy rate Males 65%; Females 70%
    Child labor Unknown
    Liberia Map

    Data as of 2007, UNICEF

    Liberia workshop report

    "Dirty, dirty, dirty." Linda, 15, and Thomas, 14, noted the unsanitary environment in which they lived and decided to photograph it. Having learned that ridding garbage and polluted water could stave off preventable diseases like malaria, they recognized the need to clean up their local community.
    Christopher, 11, photographed a slum where people suffered from poverty. He told us, "I want to show the world that our environment is dirty."
    At the workshop held in Monrovia, photographer Giacomo led 20 children between ages 9 and 16 through a five-day session as he did in Rwanda. While half the children here lived with their parents and attended school, the remainder came from temporary juvenile centers. The city had no electricity or water supply. Though six years have passed, Monrovia had not recovered from the end of two civil wars that lasted a total 14 years. The wars took about 250,000 lives and forced an estimated 12,000 children to handle weapons, witness brutal acts or otherwise be involved in the conflicts.
    The participants in the workshop learned photography techniques and discussed the themes of their shots. One of the themes was malaria, a disease with which 500,000 children under five and 100,000 pregnant women are infected each year. The children decided it was necessary to record why malaria was one of the major killers of children and how the disease could be prevented. "So much could be done. If only we could afford nets, then the mosquitoes wouldn't bite us at night. My younger brother died from malaria. It was too late when we arrived at the clinic."

    Maima, 15, photographed many young girls. She started to cry as she talked about one girl who sold toothpaste. "She reminds me of myself. I used to sell bread for my auntie, Often I couldn't sell all the bread and she would beat me,"
    The participants of the workshop learned to take a fresh look at their community and to express their observations through photographs. At the same time, they acquired the valuable experience of sharing their issues with many people and having their voices heard. Maima summed up the group's thoughts: "I see things now that I never saw before."

    (Implementation of the workshop : 2007)

    All images ©UNICEF/G.Pirozzi

    Find the pictures taken by children

    The Photographers (name, age)

    Abigail Young 13
    Archie Pah 14
    Baindu Pabai 15
    Christopher Kennedy 11
    Dada Kollie 10
    David Wayah 14
    Easu Redd 15
    Ebon Cassell 13
    Gay Handful 14
    Herrietta Zobon 15
    Johnny Lard 12
    Konah Nagbe 12
    Linda Yeneken 15
    Lordina Constance 13
    Maima Tucker 15
    Mary Stryker 13
    Melville Harris 13
    Mena Hollawanger 9
    Morlu Fuah 16
    Thomas Weeks 14