Tags / Africa
A girl is collecting fruit to sell them in a local market
Is reconciliation possible in a land where genocide took place scarcely more than a generation ago?
A Place for Everyone explores the human geography of a Rwandan village two decades after the genocide against the Tutsi. Survivors and killers still live next to one another, while a new generation of young Rwandans has grown up in a society that is still meandering through a fragile reconciliation process. Filmed over four years, the film paints the portraits of Tharcisse and Benoitte, two young Rwandans in their quest for a sanctuary between love and hate, revenge and forgiveness.
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March 6, 2015
The Sengwer, a tribe of hunter-gatherers and beekeepers who also keep livestock, have lived in Cherangany mountains in Kenya - land they consider sacred - for centuries. Today, they face eviction from their ancestral lands. Approximately 12,000 people were told to move from the forest area to make way for a nature conservation and reforestation project financed by the Kenyan government and the World Bank. The Sengwer, however, pride themselves for their traditional methods for preserving their heritage lands. When they refused, forest guards began burning down their houses.
July 17, 2014 - Codong Village (Agago District) - During school morning hours a group of young children loiter near their homes (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 17, 2014 - Codong Village (Agago District) - During school morning hours a group of young children loiter near their homes. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 17, 2014 - Kalongo Town Council (Agago District), Uganda - During sunrise Phillips Oluoch, 12, left, who had to stop attending school because his family could not afford school fees, waits with his mother for several village women, as they make their way to work in the field. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 18, 2014 - Obolokome Village (Agago District) - School children head home at the end of the school day. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 18, 2014 - Obolokome Village (Agago District), Uganda - Three brothers, Phillips Ockch, 10, left, Moses Opany, 13, center, and Tonny Ojok, 12, (who's running after cows in the background) sit watching over the family's cattle; they missed school because of the chore. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 18, 2014 - Obolokome Village (Agago District) - Catherine Atto, 35, prepares a meal as her son, Samuel Orach, 5, center and daughter, Nighty Akanyo, 2, entertain themselves. Ms. Catherine has an injured foot which prevents her from working, hence another daughter (7 years old) had to stay home from school to work in the field as her replacement. Ms. Catherine stated that her 5 year old son doesn't attend school because the distance is too far for him to walk. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 16, 2014 - Patongo Town Council (Agago District), Uganda - Vironika Akidi, 9, right, whose hair displays ringworm, studies with Ilica Akello, 10, at their village school. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 16, 2014 - Patongo Town Council (Agago District) - Vironika Akidi, 9, right, whose hair displays ringworm, linesup with classmates. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 16, 2014 - Patongo Town Council (Agago District) - David Odoki Francis teaches class at a village school; new classrooms are under construction. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 19, 2014 - Patonga Town Council (Agago District) - Alice Angom, 37, bathes her 2-month old daughter while her sister Paddra Abe, 7, teasingly plays with her. There brother Onek Solomon, 10, observes. The siblings have been busy all morning assisting their mother with chores. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 19, 2014 - Patonga Town Council (Agago District), Uganda - Solomon Onek, 10, holds his two-month old nephew, Elvis Ogen; elsewhere his sister (the child's 19-year old mother) is doing household chores. The young mother dropped out of school because of the baby. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 19, 2014 - Patonga Town Council (Agago District) - Ferdinal Latim, 13, cuts grass along with his mother, right. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 19, 2014 - Patonga Town Council (Agago District) - Mercy Angom,12, coats the base of one of her family's huts with a fresh coat of cement. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 18, 2014 - Obolokome Village (Agago District), Uganda - As the sun rises a group of children walk to school. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 16, 2014 - Patongo Town Council (Agago District), Uganda - David Odoki Francis teaches at a village school; new classrooms are under construction. Northern Uganda is recovering from over two decades of armed conflict which resulted in the conscription, abduction and displacement of almost the entire population of the Acholi sub-region. (Photo by Ric Francis)
July 17, 2014 - Codong Village (Agago District), Uganda - Lili Amony, 12, and Evelyn Akot, 7, carrying Samuel Ocen, her one-year old brother, return from working in the field; they did not attend school on this day because of chores. (Photo by Ric Francis)
Sun, sand and patience abound for natives of the Western Sahara, many of whom have survived the last 38 years in the Algerian hamada thanks to international aid. In 1976, the independence movement, the Polisario Front, proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (RASD) in what is today called the Western Sahara just as Spain, the former colonial power, withdrew from the territory. This land has since been the subject of dispute between Mauritania and Morocco, the country which occupies almost all of it to date.
On 12 January 2007, Nicaragua joined the African Union and the 45 world nations which recognise the sovereignty of RASD. No European country either recognises the RASD as a sovereign entity, or the annexation carried out by Morocco. Meanwhile, 260,000 inhabitants of the Western Sahara are currently living in an effective no-man’s land claimed by Morocco. There, local institutions have no power and are not given any public assistance.
Neighbouring Algeria, a firm defender of Western Saharan independence, provides refuge to 160,000 Sahrawis in the desert surrounding the Algerian province of Tindouf. Isolated from the rest of the world, they depend on what the European NGO lorries take from the port of Oran to the south of the country. Here, a generation raised abroad is beginning to question how long it will be before a referendum is held. Many of these young men do not rule out returning to arms.
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A boy is working in a brickfield only for $1.5 where adult people work for its double.
Life for visually impaired people in Cameroon is a constant battle, given that they are discriminated upon, a phenomenon which condemns some of them to live in solitude and mendicancy. Even though many of them are undocumented and often ignored by society, this doesn’t stop them from being ambitious and entrepreneurial. This is the case with Coco Bertin, who runs CJARC, one of Cameroon’s most solicited rehabilitation centres for the visually impaired. Bertin speaks fondly of his centre, saying “I am morally gratified by the fact that I am able to help other people, so that they can share in my happiness.”
Upon graduating in 1986, Coco Bertin, who is visually impaired, received a modest financial incentive of CFA 61.500 from the Rehabilitation Institute for the Blind in Buea. Rather than indulge in mendicancy as is the case with so many blind people, he decided to start an organisation that could provide strategic education for the visually impaired. This decision was greatly influenced by the fact that people with disabilities who go to school find it very difficult coping with a system which does not take them into account when drawing the curriculum.
In order to achieve this, he started working on the furniture for his organisation, which he named COJARY (it was later renamed CJARC [Club des Jeunes Aveugles Réhabilités du Cameroun] in 1988) from his bedroom in his parents’ house, and as well joined forces with Martin Luther, another visually impaired person who graduated from the same school as himself. From Bertin’s parents’ bedroom, the activities moved to the veranda of the Departmental Delegation of Social Affairs in the Essos neighbourhood.
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A girl is working in a brick field
Refugees in Italy create a football club that plays in Italian official league. ASD Cara Mineo was created in 2013 after residents at a migrant reception centre began holding football tournaments among themselves. Now their team of 25 players is officially registered by the Italian football federation, and has joined the 10th tier of the football league known as Category Three. The team had to miss the first three games because players could not be registered without residence permits, which still have not arrived. But after "a little goodwill from everyone," they were allowed to participate, their spokesman told a local newspaper. Originally, the team consisted of refugee footballers from countries around Africa, who lived on 2.5 euros a day and three free meals offered them in the camps.
"Rice, pasta, fruits, it's a nice diet for a football player,” said Mohamed Traore, a 24 year-old defender who plays for the team.
Abou Daouda, 23 years old from Ghana (last photo) did not want to play with the team. He loves football but he does not like the level nor the style of the team. "Me, I play Brazilian football,” he said, so he prefers to run alone, and to stay fit following his own regime.
These young migrants dream of entering Europe legally and making a life for themselves and their families through football. So far, all of the players who started the team now live on the European continent and have secured residency.
Thousands of migrants land in Sicily each year after making the crossing from north Africa, often by boat. About 4,000 people are held at the reception centre in Mineo, which formerly housed the families of US military personnel stationed at the nearby Sigonella Nato base.
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Ali's voice becomes shrill when he remembers the exact moment when he decided to flee al-Shabaab in 2007.
"I spent one year with the Shabaab, training with them, fighting, assaulting villages,” he said. “Then one day we went to a village whose inhabitants did not want to pay us taxes. They were all massacred. At least forty children were killed. I couldn’t do it anymore. I saw all the blood, those dead children, and I hid and I started to cry. Why do the Shabaab not accept that their soldiers weep? Especially in the face of the dead. If they see your tears, they kill you. That day I decided to run away.”
Ali (a nickname he’s chosen for security reasons) is a 29-year-old Kenyan who was enlisted by al-Shabaab, a Somali militant group affiliated with al-Qaeda, in Kenya in 2005 and was sent to fight in Somalia. He doesn’t remember how many people he killed, but his eyes are bright with tears when he talks about attacks on villages, defenceless people being killed, children massacred. I met Ali on the roof of a building in the Muslim Quarter in Nairobi city that in recent years has suffered several terrorist attacks in which hundreds were killed.
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The aftermath of airstrikes in the Libyan town of Zuwarah.
Large food supplies were destroyed and infrastructure severely damaged when missiles landed on a warehouse for food storage and a chemical factory.
At least eight people were killed and 24 others wounded, including 10 African workers.
These airstrikes were carried out on December 2 by the forces of retired General Khalifa Haftar, who are trying to recapture areas in east Libya from Islamist rebels. Another wave of airstrikes, 10
days later, targeted areas in Zuwarah’s outskirts near the border with Tunisia.
Residents also expressed their anger that General Haftar’s attacks are harming civilians.
Rebel leaders accused Egypt of providing Haftar’s forces with warplanes used in the attacks.
The recent series of airstrikes also targeted a rebel-held international airport in in the outskirts of Tripoli. The spokesman of the rebel security force that controls the airport said that the bombings
were carried out during two consecutive days. According to the spokesman, the attacks targeted the airport’s runway, causing minor injuries and damaging civilian homes near the airport.
A bloody conflict has pitted two Libyan governments against each other since August. The country is torn between militias that were once united to oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Despite recent United Nations mediation to broker a peace accord, fighting between the warring factions continues to weaken this fragile country. The prosperity to which Libyans have long aspired seem to many like a far-fetched hope.
2 M/S of a destroyed warehouse
C/S of food bags
M/S and C/S of a burnt truck
Various shots from the hospital
Various shots from Zuwarah Square
Various shots of streets of Tripoli
Various shots of destroyed houses near Mitiga International Airport
Various shots from inside the Mitiga International Airport
(Arabic, man) Unnamed employee
(00:30) We were working normally at the offices when were caught by surprise by missiles falling on the warehouses, killing 8 persons and wounding 14 others. These warehouses provided food supplies from Sabrata to Ras Jdair (00:54).
(Arabic, man) Issa al-Mansuri, a resident of Zuwarah
(01:39) We condemn these bombings by Haftar’s air force. They are targeting civilians and innocent foreigners who have nothing to do with [this conflict]. These airstrikes are destroying infrastructure and will not solve the problem. We want a ceasefire by any possible means, we do not want airstrikes in addition to the fighting. We have enough weapons to hold war on different front lines and they are bringing in weapons and pilots from abroad. How will they solve the problem this way? (02:05).
(Arabic, man) Mubarak al-Nayli, resident of Tripoli
(02:48) Life in Tripoli is relatively stable but certain armed groups are breaching security by bombing indiscriminately (03:01).
(03:07) This has [scared] school children and caused a fuel shortage, and we faced a shortage in electricity, too, but it is fixed now (03:18).
(Arabic, man) Unnamed resident of Tripoli
(03:46) Instead of bombing military bases, [Haftar] is targeting the homes of civilians who have nothing to do with military action (04:04).
(Arabic, man) Al-Sader al-Turki, Spokesperson of rebel security unit at Mitiga Airport
(04:48) The airstrikes carried out by the so-called Haftar’s group did not affect our morale. These warplanes do not belong to the Libyan air force; they were brought from another country (05:13).
In Kenya, there is a bitter struggle between Chinese development investments and an American citizen eager to protect a famous house on the edge of the Kenyan savannah dedicated to preserving African heritage. The house has appeared on dozens of magazine covers around the world and now is threatened of disappearing.
For months Alan Donovan, 70, a lifetime to turn Africa collecting art, is fighting to prevent the "African heritage house" from being demolished and give way to the new railway line that will connect the capital Nairobi to the Mombasa port in the southeast.
For ten years, the house has hosted tourists from all over the world who visit it as if it were a museum. Its six thousand artworks whose total value is around $200,000. The African Heritage House was built in 2004 modeled on the mud architecture that resembles the Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali. Painted walls in the living room on the third floor of the house are a reminiscent of the Ghanian Kasena tribe.
The house is located about 10 kilometres from the capital, on the edge of the Nairobi National Park. It became famous worldwide as the largest furniture magazines in the world, from France to Australia and from the US to Brazil published pictures of the rooms, chairs and paintings. It was soon turned into "the most photographed house in Africa" and saw the arrival of many intrigued tourists.
Now, seeking to renew its infrastructure, Kenya signed a $2.6 billion deal with the Chinese government to replace the railway built by Queen Victoria at the end of 1800s - and its slow trains that still travels at a speed of 40 kilometres per hour.
In its place the new railway that will be built by the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to connect Nairobi to Mombasa, and will allow goods to arrive more quickly from the port to the countryside.
Born in the United States, Donovan arrived for the first time in Africa in 1967 when he worked for an NGO during the civil war in Nigeria.
"Back then I saw a lot of corruption in the aid machine, so I decided to leave and start traveling all over the continent," he said, "to Congo, Ghana, Tanzania and finally Kenya."
When he arrived in Nairobi he met the then Vice-President Joseph Murumbi, an event that would change his life. Together they opened an art gallery in a Nairobi teeming with vitality.
Wealthy adventurers in search for strong experiences in the savannah to tell stories to friends once back home; entrepreneurs ready to exploit the tourism business on the coast; as well as artists, musicians, sculptors and painters all flocked to the gallery. Donovan created unique jewelry using beads and animal bones and has hosted the works of dozens of artists from around the continent. Murumbi is still remembered as the greatest ever Pan-African art dealer.
Then came the 1990s. African artwork lost its charm, and Nairobi saw terrorist attacks against the US Embassy in 1998. The gallery suffered with its coffers increasingly empty.
"When Murumbi died in 1990 I kept the gallery moving, but I could not give it the same vitality," Donavan said. "In 2003, I declared bankruptcy, and in 2004 I opened this house putting in it many of the works that we had in the gallery."
Donovan is not alone in his fight to preserve the house. Thousands of people have already signed online petitions, and the Kenyan Ministry of Culture has undertaken to save it. If they fail, in a few years this house will most likely no longer exist.
Living in Kenya for over 40 years, Donovan has seen the progress changing the face of Africa, and now it may take away his home, a place that represent all his life while paying tribute to the achievements of African art.
Two boys are working in a leather factory.
Christine, now 17 years-old, got married when she was 15 and lost her first child just three days after he was born, most likely due to an umbilical cord infection. She is once again seven months pregnant and also takes care of her three year-old younger sister Mayron.
Rose, 16-years-old, is currently breastfeeding her first child of five months. The father of the baby never came to take responsibility, so Rose’s father is the only one who takes care of her and the baby. Rose’s mother has already passed away. Christine dropped out of school in her second year of highschool, and Rose dropped out at the end of sixth grade, both due to their families economic situation. Christine and Rose live in a very remote and rural area in the tropical highland in Cameroon and make their living farming cocoa. They represent thousands of teenage mothers in Cameroon.
Africa has the world’s highest rate of adolescent pregnancy, a factor that affects the health, education, and earning potential of millions of African girls. African teenage mothers face considerable threats to their health and wellbeing, primarily maternal morbidity and mortality. Girls who become pregnant have to leave school. This has long-term implications for them as individuals, their families and communities. The percentage of girls who gave birth before 16 is much higher amongst those who received no education. The lack of sex education and being unaware of the consequences of unprotected sex often lead to unwanted pregnancies. Many girls in rural villages drop out of school, have sexual relationships with young boys, and become pregnant before the age of 18. They start doing chores around the home and take on the responsibilities of adults. Girls become women too early, missing their childhood and adolescence.
Rose dropped out of school at the end of Primay six, due to lack of financial availability from her family.
Girls get pregnant and have first babies very early, before the age of 18. They become women when still too young, taking responsibilities as adults. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Girls, dropped out of school usually before the end of Secondary, start homeworks very early. They became women too early, totally missing their childhood. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Rose, 16 years old, is currently breastfeeding her first child of 5 months. The father of the baby never came to take his responsibilities, so Roseâs father is the only one who is taking care of her and the baby, as Roseâs mother already passed way. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Agnes is 15 years old. She is one among the thousands of teenage mothers in Cameroon. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Anita is 15 years old. She is one among the thousands of teenage mothers in Cameroon. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Foebe is 16 years old. She is one among the thousands of teenage mothers in Cameroon
Morin is 17 years old. She is one among the thousands of teenage mothers in Cameroon. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
Christine, 7 months pregnant, is still doing heavy homeworks, go farming cocoa in the forest. Bakumba, Cameroon. 2014
A boy is working in a baloon factory.