Apochi Nelson Owoicho, a renowned Nigerian documentary photographer and filmmaker, has embarked on a remarkable initiative called the Reclaim Project. By providing children with the tools and training necessary to capture and share stories from their communities, Owoicho aims to empower them to become storytellers of their own lives. This participatory photography project not only allows children to express themselves creatively but also sheds light on social issues and barriers they face, particularly in accessing education. Through the Reclaim Project, Owoicho aligns his efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global society's vision for positive change.
Recognizing the significance of education in transforming lives, Owoicho focuses on raising awareness about access to education as a primary social issue through the Reclaim Project. Children participating in the initiative are equipped with the necessary education and tools, such as cameras and training in storytelling and media representation. They capture and share stories from their communities, shedding light on the challenges they face and advocating for change. The proceeds from the sale of the work produced through the project contribute to an education fund, enabling many children to pursue education from secondary schools to university levels.
Fostering Freedom of Expression and Civic Engagement
The Reclaim Project not only nurtures artistic expression but also serves as a powerful advocacy tool, connecting children and their communities' concerns with key stakeholders, including local government education officers, civil society organizations, media outlets, and art organizations. By amplifying the voices of these children, the project reinforces the importance of freedom of expression and civic engagement. In a country like Nigeria, where civic space is considered repressed, Owoicho's work with the Reclaim Project contributes to the protection and expansion of media freedom. Through photography and storytelling, the children learn that they have the right to speak up and are equipped with a tool to stand up for themselves and their communities.
The Reclaim Project's objectives align closely with the SDGs and the vision of the global society for a more equitable and sustainable world. By focusing on access to education, Owoicho addresses SDG 4: Quality Education, which strives to ensure inclusive and equitable education for all. The project raises awareness about the barriers children face in accessing education, supports their educational journey, and contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty. Furthermore, the Reclaim Project promotes SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions by empowering children to engage in civic participation, fostering a sense of agency and active citizenship.
In addition to supporting specific SDGs, the Reclaim Project embodies the vision of the global society, which values the power of storytelling and the importance of diverse perspectives. Owoicho recognizes that many people in Nigeria lack the resources, training, and platforms to share their stories, resulting in their narratives being overlooked in mainstream media. By providing children with the skills and tools to tell their own stories, the Reclaim Project democratizes storytelling, challenging the danger of a single story and enabling a more vibrant and inclusive journalism landscape in Nigeria. This vision resonates with the global society's aspiration for diverse and representative media that accurately reflects the experiences and struggles of all individuals and communities.
Through the Reclaim Project, Apochi Nelson Owoicho empowers children in Nigeria to tell their own stories, advocate for change, and promote the SDGs. By addressing access to education and fostering freedom of expression, the project contributes to SDG 4 and SDG 16, respectively. It aligns with the global society's vision for a more inclusive and sustainable world, where all individuals have the opportunity to share their perspectives and participate actively in shaping their communities. Owoicho's commitment to uplifting voices, empowering children, and promoting positive social change serves as an inspiration to others and highlights the transformative power of participatory photography and storytelling in achieving the SDGs and building a better future for all.
More information: https://www.apochiowoicho.com