13 April 2012

No. 1249

During the early 90s, Rwanda experienced a dreadful civil war that separated and orphaned hundreds of thousands of young children. A photojournalist who was covering the situation in the country, found himself compelled to take photos of all these separated children and pin them up on community notice boards in the hope of tracking down a relative. As many of the children were too young to know their own name or too traumatised to speak, the photographer had them hold a sign which displayed a number for prospective family members to identify them by. The scheme was so successful that up to 80% of children were reunited with a family member, and this process of reunification is still used today by some of the world's most influential humanitarian agencies. The photojournalist quit his job and now works in humanitarian aid where he photographed 21 000 children in his first year.

- Oil on canvas - 

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