a project by
Anna Brodrect

in conjuction with
Bruce Peru

supported by
The Alabama Federation of
Women's Clubs

inspired by
Kids with Cameras

Picturing Peru: to help kids find education.


The Project

My name is Anna Brodrecht and I’m 24 years old, from Trussville Alabama. Last year I spent six months traveling in South America and decided to return to Peru to teach English before beginning graduate school in the fall of 2007. Having been inspired by the documentary Born into Brothels and their NGO Kids with Cameras, I decided to enrich my experiences teaching English by providing children in Peru with the opportunity to use the art of photography to accelerate their life-long education.

For six months, I will volunteer for Bruce Peru and teach photography lessons to the children in their schools. The cameras and film donated will be distributed to the children so they may practice the photography principles they learn in class by taking their own photos. When I return to the US in April 2007, I will begin submitting their photos to various photography contests and hosting charity galleries of their work. All profits collected will then be put in an education fund for the children or donated to Bruce Peru as they continue the battle to educate Peru’s street children.

The Problem

Lima, the capital of Peru, is also the country’s largest city with a population of over 8 million. While the wealthiest citizens of Peru live in Lima, so do some of the country’s poorest. Many families move from the country-side to the urban environment of Lima in search of greater opportunity and higher wages. Unfortunately, most of these campesinos find themselves in abject poverty as so many others compete for the same wages.

With money in short supply, families are left with little choice but to neglect their children’s education. Most families simply cannot afford schooling. Other families send their children to work, allowing no time for school and an inescapable dependence on that child’s income. Still others, lacking education themselves, simply do not recognize the importance and choose to neglect their child’s education.

In many cases, the children are too far behind for their ages to begin school. According to the national Peruvian education system, children who are more than two years behind in their studies cannot enter school, leaving them to start jobs or resort to other activities as early as age 8. The Peruvian government has refused to acknowledge this prolific problem, leading to a growing number of uneducated children in Peru with no end in sight. Without education, these children have little hope of escaping the poverty and if their own government will offer no support, who will?

A Possible Solution: Bruce Peru

Bruce Peru is a non-profit organization whose goal is to gain acknowledgement from the Peruvian government of the number of uneducated ‘street children’ in Peru. Thus far, the government has shown no interest in this growing problem. To advocate their cause, Bruce Peru has created their own small schools not only to begin offering education when the government has turned its back, but also to explore effective methods of education. On a daily basis, Bruce Peru sends volunteers and professional social workers to offer education to child laborers or neglected children. With consent from their parents, these kids begin classes in the schools operated by the organization. Simultaneously, Bruce Peru works to find a state funded school for each child to attend as soon as possible.

Thus far, Bruce Peru has opened their own schools in 5 cities and has had a 60% success rate in finding schools for children within a year of first acquaintance. The other 40% usually find placement in following years.

The Inspiration: Kid’s with Camera’s

Kids with Cameras is a non-profit organization that began as the off-spring of the documentary film Born into Brothels. Zana Briski, a photographer who was conducting a study on sex-workers in Calcutta’s red light district, realized that the children of the workers could take photos in areas of the district that Zana could not as a foreigner. As a result, she began teaching the children about photography and gave them their own cameras and film to practice.

Realizing the value of these photos and the dismal fate of the children who were in line to become sex-workers like their mothers, Briski began advocating for the children’s education and submitting their photos to international contests. The profits of her efforts helped earn money for the kids’ education.

Kids with Cameras now manages workshops in four countries. Their mission is to use the art of photography to inspire the imaginations of marginalized children, with special commitment to education.

Miguel Rodas
Jr. Gamarra 269 - A502
Pueblo Libre, Lima

PS:Don't worry about sending anything as it might not get here before I leave!