All are invited to the photography exhibition 60 million girls – Education for a more just and balanced world, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition opens on October 23rd and runs through November 23rd. Admission is free of charge.
Chagni Kumari Chadana, 7 years old Kamoda Community, India © Dominique and Maria Cabrelli, 2012
This original and unique exhibition is the initiative of Manuela Clément-Frencia, a founding member of the 60 million girls Foundation. Manuela wanted to see for herself how education can change the lives of girls and transform the communities in which they live. She organized a trip and brought photographers, Dominique and Maria Cabrelli, Arvind Eyunni and Jean-François Lemire, to document the experience. Together, they visited the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, the community of Kamoda in India and the village of Wuchale in Ethiopia. Manuela and the photographers met 120 young girls who attend schools supported by the Foundation, as well as parents, teachers, school directors and members of local organizations. You will see the portraits and learn about the stories of the girls’ determination to go to school, despite the difficult circumstances of their lives.
Among them is 18-year-old Leyla, who fled to Kenya with her mother and two young brothers from war-torn Somalia. Leyla takes remedial primary school courses in the Kakuma refugee camp. Her day begins at 4:30 am and ends at 11:30 pm. It is filled with school, domestic chores and looking after her younger siblings. Showing and incredible determination, Leyla wants to complete primary and then secondary school in the camp. She dreams of one day returning to Somalia to help other girls in need. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has generously agreed to show part of the collection of photographs. Please come to the museum to get to know Leyla and others like her. Their stories will captivate you and their portraits will inspire you with their dignity and quiet determination. They are the real heroines of the day.