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More than Bricks and Mortar

Children, housing and well-being

Claudia Mitchell (with Fatuma Chege, Margot Rothman, NACHU and Rooftops of Canada)

The photos in this exhibition were taken by children from one slum in Nairobi. As part of a pilot study on children and housing, children between the ages of 8 and 13 were invited to participate in a photovoice project organized by the University of Kenyatta, NACHU, Rooftops of Canada, and McGill University. They worked in small groups to take photographs of "feeling safe and feeling not so safe." Their enthusiastic participation and the poignancy of their photos served as a basis for designing a photovoice project across 8 housing communities in and around Nairobi. The photos tell a compelling story of the environment in which they are growing up. Some of their images speak to the security of their home, while others highlight the various dangers: the dangerous roads and passageways, pollution, and violence. Others, however, address the security that children may find in their own homes even if the outside is dangerous. For the viewer, the children’s photos may evoke questions about what well-being means.