At times when I hear myself grumble about my coffee not being the right taste or temperature, my mind goes back to this smiling girl and to her story…
After months of living in terror, running from prosecution by militias, escaping bullets, rape, sickness and capture, this Rwandan child arrived in a UNICEF supported medical clinic in Goma(Democratic Republic of Congo) on the Rwanda border. She receives milk in this orange cup and still has energy to flash me a heartfelt smile from her beautiful face and eyes heavy with exhaustion.
For the month of April I will share stories and images from a live changing journey into war-torn Congo.
All photos were taken in October of 2009.
39 replies on “Day 1~ April 1st~ Congo”
And it just goes to show that hearts are strong and smiles the same everywhere 🙂
I see a great contrast of focus. The photos of Lebanon I felt you were trying to show the world the picture of Lebanon we never see. The different picture than the war torn country the media bombarded us with for decades. And in this series almost the opposite?
The war in Lebanon is over (at least for now). Congo is another story, it needs so much the world’s attention. It is the war that claimed and still claims till today more lives than any war to date, it enslaves children, it subjects them to rape, to drugs and to premature death. The way I approach Congo is different because very little is said about it in the media, and very little help is given. Thank you so much for your comments.
I agree that media in general is bad at covering things where no oil is found.
From the post you showed today there is still hope.
I think people tend to shrug away when they see to much despare. Finding the balance of hope is essential for people to get involved and start contributing to change.
Please tell us if there is a way to get in contact with any organizations. I would be especially interested in organizations that give possibilities to self help.
Keep up the good work
Yes, there is always hope and there is so much being done by so many selflessly and inside of NGOs and international organizations to help. I went to Congo for a project that I started with a friend to look for artist children and to see how their love of art can change them and change their lives. We were assisted with all logistics by the UN which was the only way to travel to Congo and move around as well as meet the children. A lot resulted from the trip that inspired children helping children in the US, and donations of art supplies and gifts sent to the children via UNICEF. Despite all efforts I saw being made there, I know from family members who work in the United Nations and work with refugees that it is never enough and they spend their lives raising funds to help in places like Congo and recently Somalia. It is just the world we live in…
what an amazing series you are putting together here Mimo – I just worked my way backwards through all of them to date, and every single one is a terrific image with a powerful story.
Beautiful picture. what I like most about your pictures (that I’ve seen so far) is the way you’ve represented the children. They are so often reduced to ‘victim’ many of them look strong in your shots, survivors. Great Work
[…] I reblogged an extraordinary post featuring one of the most beautiful and inspiring smiles I have ever seen. Mimo’s photography is […]
wonderful portrait…gorgeous smile !
Thank you, yes she is beautiful!
this should be a great one 😀
I hope you will enjoy it!
Striking colors, very nice facial expression. Thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga
thank you for commenting!
beautiful capture; such sensitivity and tenderness in this girl’s face. what strength. thank you for reminding us.
Thank you Marina
A truly magnificent smile, and I am looking forward to you sharing your next trip. 😀
Thank you Mags, I am glad you are coming along the journey
Reblogged this on Natalie's Corner.
Beautiful and insightful. This is an amazing photo and I think my top favourite. Looking forward for more.
Thank you Natalie!
Looking forward eagerly to your Congo photos Mimo..though I suspect some may be sad indeed? kept meaning to ask how come you have been in so many countries??
Thank you Helen. I will be telling the story of why I was in Congo during this month’s series.. Stay tuned!
I’m always tuned to your site Mimo !
Love the colors. I’m looking forward to this next journey. You have an amazing gift for prose and photography.
Thank you so much! Very kind of you and very encouraging!
First, the colors threw me off, and then I see an amazing smile, and then I read an amazing story about an amazing smile. It’s a wonderful photograph and amazing smile. All I can say is take me, because I am ready for your new journey. 🙂
Thank you! I am so glad you are joining the journey!
What a beautiful portrait. I look forward to reading and following this journey. This story is powerful and it has left a mark on my heart.
Thank you Courtney!
What a striking face! I have come to the realisation that it is the downtrodden that smile the most! And the coddled who grumble about the littlest things!
You are so right Madhu!
Not only did you capture a wonderful expression on the child’s face, but the colors in this photo are fantastic! Just beautiful.
Thank you Earl!
There is nothing like a child’s smile and I glad that you captured it. I am looking forward to reading more.
Thank you, I hope you will enjoy the series as it unfolds!
Wonderful capture, Mimo. It breaks my heart that any child (any person, but especially a child!) should have to experience those things.
and mine too Robin! thank you for commenting!
Looking forward to the journey.
Thank you Frank! Me too!