My Next Project: Diary of an African Mother
In the Summer of 2010I traveled to a remote village in Western Kenya called Matangwe. My purpose was to start a sustainable tailoring school.
Something you need to know is that this area is one of the highest of concentration of HIV,AIDS and malaria in all of Africa. Life expectancy is only around 45, and death is a daily occurrence to young and old.
Since then I have stayed in touch with Catherine, one of my students. She lives in a mud hut, with no electricity or running water but we communicate via Facebook! Catherine lived in the Kibera slums in Nairobi before coming to Matangwe. She is a mother of 5 children and like me she wants exactly the same things for her children that I want for mine: health; education; happiness. Sadly her struggles are far greater than mine, I know this because Catherine has written them down in her diary that she has trusted me with so I can tell you her story.
My next project is to let Catherine’s story be heard through the voice of the photograph. I plan on returning to Africa to document the struggles of not only this brave mother but also the many other mothers that live in the slums of Nairobi.
Some things you should know:
- 2.5 million people live in Nairobi slums
- There are is no running water and no sewage system and no toilets
- There are no government hospitals or clinics
- Unemployment is 50%, those lucky to work make $1-2/day
- Most shacks are 12’x12′, housing 8 people
- Condom use is minimal resulting in unwanted pregnancy and dangerous abortions
- 75% are under the age of 18, 100,000 are orphaned
- Violence, rape, drugs and glue sniffing are common because of boredom