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Chadian Youth Become Photographers

TTKN News (10/13/10)

WASHINGTON — A group of Chadian youth will have a unique opportunity to document their experiences in the capital city of N’Djamena with National Geographic contributing photographers Lynn Johnson, Amy Toensing and Matt Moyer during National Geographic Photo Camp Chad. From Wednesday, Oct. 13, through Thursday, Nov. 11, 60 students from across the country will take part in workshops where they will learn about self-expression through photographic vision and technique. The series of Photo Camps is presented by the National Geographic Society and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

During each of the seven-day workshops, Oct. 13-19, Oct. 23-29 and Nov. 5-11, 20 young Chadians ages 16 through 30 will explore the cultural diversity and special traditions of the capital city’s neighborhoods and document examples of peace and tolerance. Nearly half of the participants will travel to N’Djamena from the rural provinces of Batha, Guera and Kanem. Together, these students, who reflect the diversity of the country, will photograph, edit and design a portrait of the urban community’s unique characteristics as well as their personal experiences during the workshops. In addition to the National Geographic contributing photographers, the participants will be mentored by Photo Camp educators who will guide the students through the process of creating a story of their experiences in a printed photography show.

Participants, their families and community members are invited to final presentations of the students’ work at the conclusion of each workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 19, Friday, Oct. 29, and Thursday, Nov. 11, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. GMT + 1:00, at the Chadian Cultural Center (Centre Baba Moustafa), N’Djamena.

“We hope that Photo Camp will provide a rare opportunity for these young people to meet their peers from across Chad and see their lives in a new way,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for Mission Programs. “We’ve found that Photo Camp activities can give new voice to youth and, we hope, inspire them to care about the planet.”

Olympus Imaging America Inc. has provided cameras for the Photo Camp; PNY Technologies has donated memory cards.

The National Geographic Photo Camp has provided programs for more than 1,000 young people in over 45 locations since 2003. Other Photo Camp venues this year are Barbados; Biscayne Bay, Fla.; and Ukraine. Visit nationalgeographic.com/photocamp for more information.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations.Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,400 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. USAID, through its “Peace Through Development” (PDEV) project in Chad, works to improve local governance with an emphasis on urban and peri-urban areas. The project empowers at-risk youth to become active participants in their communities and in the economy and promotes peace and tolerance. The photo camp activity will contribute to USAID’s objectives by providing Chadian youth the tools and skills to positively communicate, engage and interact with their peers and local leaders as agents of constructive change for their communities.

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