Through the lens

Blog_July-3

This was a fascinating concept for the kids—a picture of a picture!

When I first came to CURE Kenya, I spoke no Swahili, the local language. Although many families speak English, some children have yet to learn it. It was an uncomfortable feeling to approach these kids with no real way to communicate with them. What I found over the last few weeks is how little words are needed. I began to realize that with a camera in hand, something happened to our dynamic. The children would light up; they would smile, laugh, and motion for me to take a photograph.

With a camera in hand, we are inviting a third friend into our play date, and somehow we don’t need words. Many of these children have never seen a photo of themselves and most have certainly never used a camera. I decided to allow the camera to bridge that language gap.

Blog_July-5

Right before surgery, I give this little boy a camera phone to play with while he waits—what a smile it brings

Maybe it’s because I’m not coming in with needles or medicine, but now when the patients see me coming with my camera in tow they perk up. They sit up, open their beautiful eyes wide and shyly ask to see what is on that little screen. As a general rule, I am used to children being impatient with very short attention spans. I am used to young teenagers wanting to be left alone or claiming to be bored with anything I deem “cool” or “fun.”

Samuel is completely mesmerized at his own reflection. He sits for a long time, just playing with his face in front of the camera.

Samuel is completely mesmerized at his own reflection. He sits for a long time, just playing with his face in front of the camera.

But what I see here in Kenya, in a small hospital ward, are kids who are grateful for any visitor—anything to play with.

I wanted to give some kids a chance to be photographers for the day. I knew they would have fun, but mostly I wanted to see things through their eyes. What do they see as beautiful? What a gift to see CURE through the eyes of a child—through the lens of a camera.


Photo of the Elena Brown

About the Author:

Elena served as a CUREkids Coordinator at CURE Kenya from 2015-2016. Originally from Washington State, she studied film and writing in college and has a passion for learning from children and serving young families. Many of her friends are under the age of five, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Powered by Facebook Comments


Further Reading

In the Field

Conditions we treat: Clubfoot

Conditions we treat: Clubfoot
In the Field

Conditions we treat: Knock knees

Conditions we treat: Knock knees
People of CURE

Serving God and Healing kids in Malawi

Serving God and Healing kids in Malawi
Patient Stories

The Unbelievable Love of God

The Unbelievable Love of God
In the Field

Holistically Treating Cerebral Palsy

Holistically Treating Cerebral Palsy
Reflections

The need for children’s medical care in Niger

The need for children’s medical care in Niger