Girls Deserve a Chance

By Alexander Cooke for Project Luangwa

Project Luangwa helps families in Zambia have a chance at a lasting, sustainable income by developing and improving schools, creating a vocational training center and supporting micro financing.

I fell in love with Mfuwe last year and wanted the opportunity to become more involved in the local community. When I returned on my own, last summer, I became fully aware of the challenges facing the people of Mfuwe, especially problems facing young girls, like physical and sexual abuse. After meeting the people, the statistics I had heard the previous became real and I felt compelled to act.

I began researching the most effective ways to combat these issues. I found that without proper education and guidance the girls are not able to flourish and this has major consequences. “A girl who is denied an education is more vulnerable to poverty, hunger, violence, abuse and exploitation, trafficking, HIV/AIDS and maternal mortality” (UNICEF 2011). I then discovered the importance of photography in sharing this message.

The need for community support is critical in reaching out to these young girls. I spent time talking with teachers, families, and HIV aid workers to ensure the proposal for the girls clubs was being developed with the support of the relevant community members. All Clubs will be led by local women in the community to act as role models for the girls. Teaching them about self-empowerment and relevant issues such as HIV/AIDS.


Photographer: Alexander Cooke / student

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Award Year: 2011

Non Profit: Project Luangwa

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