Nº 30


Entre los muros

La clase (Entre les murs, 2008) narra la experiencia de un profesor que enseña lengua en un instituto de una ciudad dormitorio de París, repleta de adolescentes de todas las razas, hijos de inmigrantes y franceses de clase baja.


El efecto Lang Lang

A nadie pasó inadvertida esa imagen de los Juegos Olímpicos de Beijing 2008: un joven, una niña de cinco años y un piano de cola blanco. El joven era Lang Lang, un pianista chino nada corriente.

DEVO + Disney = ?

DEVO 2.0 es un experimento que intenta acercar la música del mítico grupo DEVO a los niños de entre 5 y 8 años.


Cuentos para minorías

¿Qué cuentos leen los niños con discapacidad, o con padres divorciados, o los adoptados, o en minoría racial, o con padres de un mismo sexo? ¿Hay cuentos en las librerías con los que se puedan sentir identificados los niños de las familias del siglo XXI?

Interview with photographer Steven Shames

«Barack Obama was one of these disposed kids»

It all started here, at the funeral in the photo above, but it actually comes from long ago. Since the beginning of his career as a photographer in 1967, Steven Shames has shown a clear interest: the lives of disadvantaged, abandoned and poor children. His images are stunning documents which speak for themselves, and are part of permanent collections of institutions like the International Center of Photography in New York, or the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, to name a few. Nine years ago, Shames was in Uganda, working on a story of AIDS orphans, and photographed the funeral of a woman, who left five orphaned children behind. The youngest, just a few months old, was called Sarah. Steven Shames decided to take over the education of the little Sarah, her family, and later also of a dozen orphans from the village. He wanted them to attend the best schools in Africa. In 2004, his interest had grown to an unprecedented educational project: LEAD Uganda. Today, the lives of more than 70 children, including Sarah, have been transformed. Steven Shames tells us the details of this fascinating adventure in this interview.

Versión en español

«Outsiders can not make Africa independent»

KINDSEIN: Do you think education is the key to transforming Africa?

STEVEN SHAMES: Education will not do this all by itself, but it is a key component of the solution. Change is accomplished by movements, groups of individuals working together. Education gives people in movements, the skills they need.

Educating leaders in sub-Saharan Africa is especially important because the AIDS pandemic devastated the educated and managerial classes: teachers, civil servants, army commanders. Insecurity in northern Uganda has affected two generations while devastating the region’s infrastructure. Outsiders can not make Africa independent. Nor can they create institutions that will provide justice and prosperity. Only indigenous leaders can accomplish that. That is why it is important to educate and train leaders.

KINDSEIN: And that is what LEAD Uganda does...

STEPHEN SHAMES: Yes, our distinctive, original vision is seeing that the solution to Africa’s problems exists in the hearts and minds of the current, generation of neglected and excluded children. But it is trapped there, lost because they lack the means to reach their potential. Tomorrows saviors are wasting away in IDP camps, sleeping on the street, working in rock quarries to feed younger siblings. We see them as a valuable resource who will transform Africa, if they can get to school and develop their minds.

The United Nations has called poverty the most effective poverty alleviator. In the United States, education is the highway to success for millions of immigrants. Knowledge is the pathway to economic growth. An educated, technological elite is guiding India to super-power status. Thus far, the digital age has benefited countries such as India that made a concerted effort to train leaders and harness their energies. Africa is worse off.


STEVEN SHAMES: Is not brain power: “African college students are doing exceptionally well....In 2000, Africans averaged the highest educational attainments of any group in the United States - higher even than whites and Asians, according to Vanity Fair, July, 2007. [From a 2003 study by John R. Logan, Lewis Mumford Center at the State University of New York - Albany.] The problem is lack of opportunity for millions of children living in poverty. The issue is a lack of funding for programs like ours, programs dedicated to finding and cultivating leaders among the dispossessed.

KINDSEIN: What does Uganda's Government think of LEAD Uganda?

STEVEN SHAMES: The Government of Uganda supports our efforts. They see us as part of the solution. We were recently honored at a reception for the new UN Ambassador in Washington. John Nagenda, press advisor to President Museveni visited our program in Kampala. In fact he has donated to LEAD Uganda. The head masters and teachers at the best Ugandan schools work closely with us. We look forward to working with Ugandans to build our next project, a state of the art computer school.

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