Tag Archives: India

International day of the girl child

Today marks the second International day of the Girl Child with a special focus on educating girls.

Not so long ago I did a post on girl’s education on Malala Yousafzai day  and just now Malala won The EU Shacharov prize for freedom of thought. And boy does she have a freethinking mind… What an advocate for girl’s education if there ever was one. So eloquent, outspoken, smart and honest. An inspirational girl to say the least.

An interview with Christiana Amanpour will be aired soon I think and a there are lots of incredible interviews and speeches by her to be found online.  Christina Lamb helped write her book ‘I am Malala’ which I look forward to reading soon as well.

Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education. And  even when girls are in school, the quality of their education is often poor. There are no expectations for them to use their diploma if they ever finish school to get one and often their household responsibilities will keep them from attending their classes regularly …

Yet, education is key.  Educate girls and women and you’ll better a whole society.

During all my travels this is exactly what I found and heard people say over and over again. It helps in reducing maternal mortality, it helps reduce poverty, …

To finish, I just want to share a couple of images of some of the amazing girls I met along my travels in the past few years. Sparkly, smart, funny, beautiful,  moving and at times heartbreaking.  All of them wonderful and each one touching my heart.

Happy international girls day everyone!

Mehmooda bites her hand. Karachi, Pakistan, 2010   © Wendy Marijnissen

Mehmooda bites her hand. Karachi, Pakistan, 2010
© Wendy Marijnissen

Girls running and playing in the backyard of the Arushi Shelter. New Delhi, India, 2009 © Wendy Marijnissen

Girls running and playing in the backyard of the Arushi Shelter. New Delhi, India, 2009
© Wendy Marijnissen

Shabana (not her real name) leans against her mothers' back.  Raped by her brother-in-law when she was 4 years old, she is both emotionally and physically scarred.  Afraid of the stigma involved surrounding rape victims, the family settled out of court and the rapist didn't go to jail. Around 15% of survivors of sexual abuse in Pakistan are between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.  Over 55% of the survivors are younger then 18 years old. Pakistan, 2011 © Wendy Marijnissen

Shabana (not her real name) leans against her mothers’ back.
Raped by her brother-in-law when she was 4 years old, she is both emotionally and physically scarred. Afraid of the stigma involved surrounding rape victims, the family settled out of court and the rapist didn’t go to jail.
Around 15% of survivors of sexual abuse in Pakistan are between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.
Over 55% of the survivors are younger then 18 years old. Pakistan, 2011
© Wendy Marijnissen

A girl cries after a fight over water in the tent camp for flood victims in Kamari town.  Shortage of food and water often causes tension among the people living in the camps as they fight over goods for the survival of their families. Karachi, Pakistan, 2010 © Wendy Marijnissen

A girl cries after a fight over water in the tent camp for flood victims in Kamari town.
Shortage of food and water often causes tension among the people living in the camps as they fight over goods for the survival of their families. Karachi, Pakistan, 2010
© Wendy Marijnissen

MP Ms. Fawzia Koofi plays with a child in between meetings held in her family home in Faizabad. Badakshan, Afghanistan, 2012 © Wendy Marijnissen

MP Ms. Fawzia Koofi plays with a child in between meetings held in her family home in Faizabad. Badakshan, Afghanistan, 2012
© Wendy Marijnissen

'My troubles started the year my father died. I was six years old'. Rehan (not her real name) ran away from home after her uncle tried to force her to marry his son. After an initial mediation session and the promise the engagement was off, she returned home and was locked up and beaten and about to married of to her cousin yet again. She was able to escape, annule the engagement and now lives in a safehouse run by human rights organization Women for Afghan Women that help in situations like hers. Kabul, Afghanistan, 2012. © Wendy Marijnissen

‘My troubles started the year my father died. I was six years old’. Rehan (not her real name) ran away from home after her uncle tried to force her to marry his son. After an initial mediation session and the promise the engagement was off, she returned home and was locked up and beaten and about to married of to her cousin yet again. She was able to escape, annule the engagement and now lives in a safehouse run by human rights organization Women for Afghan Women that help in situations like hers. Kabul, Afghanistan, 2012.
© Wendy Marijnissen

Children are playing in the backyard of the Edward Said Musical Kindergarten. Besides the normal day care and play, the children already get musical appreciation classes. Ramallah, Palestine, 2006 © Wendy Marijnissen

Children are playing in the backyard of the Edward Said Musical Kindergarten. Besides the normal day care and play, the children already get musical appreciation classes. Ramallah, Palestine, 2006
© Wendy Marijnissen

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The Sleepers

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

After my walk in the snow this morning, I’ve been going through my archive a bit and came across some images I shot during my first trip to New Delhi, India back in 2009.

I discovered Old Delhi and was so taken by the energy of that part of the city. Colorful, bustling, energetic, … I allowed myself to get lost and wander in little streets and alleys, somehow always ending back at the Jama Masjid Mosque.

But what really sparked my visual interest, were the sleeping rikshaw drivers, taking a rest in between their hard work, and couldn’t resist photographing them.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

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Sister Jeanne Devos

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

Last week I had the incredible honor to once again visit Sister Jeanne Devos in the mission house in Heverlee, before she heads back to India. It’s so wonderful to meet such inspirational people through photography.

Sister Jeanne has been working in India for over 50 years and founded the National Domestic Workers Movement. This organization works to find dignity for domestic workers all over India. A very vulnerable group, they often get abused and denied their basic rights.  Tirelessly, Sister Jeanne continues her work and by now the movement is active in 23 states of the country and counts over 2 million members.

When I asked Sister Jeanne what she thought was her biggest achievement so far, she didn’t name her Nobel Peace Prize nomination or the countless awards she received. She didn’t mention the law that with her help was established to end child labour or the Minimum Wage Act for Domestic Workers. She did however mention the change in attitude that she witnessed in the women and girls she works with. Years ago they would bow their heads, not feel worthy to even look her in the eye, literally feel less then her. Yet now, they will come in the room with confidence, straight back and will say hello looking her in the eye. It’s this dignity that she fights for and will continue to work for I’m sure. And it was beautiful to hear her tell all these kinds of stories to me.

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Delhi singles

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I’ve updated my website with some pictures I took out in Delhi.

All of them were taken in Old Delhi. Just some street scenes and some pictures of the peddle rickshaw drivers which I might continue with in the future.

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Arushi shelter

© Wendy Marijnissen

While I was in New Delhi, I had the pleasure to visit the Arushi shelter for girls.  The Salaam Balaak Trust runs this shelter for homeless girls and tries to provide a home, care, education among other things.

Please visit their website here to see more on their projects and great work.

More of my pictures can be found on my website.

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