On Thursday, February 7th at 6pm, two Salt Institute alums will host an event to benefit their alma mater and to raise awareness of a growing crisis for refugee children in Africa.
Salt Alum and National Geographic Photographer Amy Toensing is launching a Kickstarter campaign to document the lives of forgotten refugee children. RefugePoint, an international humanitarian organization that finds lasting solutions for the world’s most vulnerable refugees will provide in-country assistance and expertise to make this happen.
Friend and fellow alum Cheryl Hamilton works for RefugePoint as a communication officer and portrays the crisis this way.
“Refugee camps across Africa are increasingly overcrowded and unsafe. This past year, multiple bombs exploded and several aid organizations were forced to scale down their operations. As a result, more and more refugees are fleeing to urban areas like Cairo and Nairobi in search of protection, and the most vulnerable are children.”
Today, more than 50% of Africa’s refugee population can be found in urban areas where humanitarian aid is limited and the danger to a child’s life is even greater. RefugePoint regularly assists girls and boys who have been victims of sexual and gender-based violence, xenophobic attacks and human trafficking.
“The risks and choices these children face are almost indescribable,” Hamilton notes.
With the funds raised through her Kickstarter campaign In the Shadows, Toensing will go to Africa to document this mounting humanitarian crisis and produce print and online exhibits that give a voice to these shadowed individuals. These exhibits will open on June 20 this year in honor of World Refugee Day and travel to multiple cities in print and around the world virtually.
Part of the pair’s motivation for hosting the launch at Salt is their desire to also give back to the institution. As Toensing explains, “Both Cheryl and I consider Salt as instrumental in our careers. Salt opened doors for us and instilled a strong appreciation for the power of storytelling whether through photography or writing. Now, our hope is to harness that power to protect refugee children.”
The Kickstarter launch party is scheduled for Thursday, February 7th from 6pm-7:30pm. Toensing will speak about her work as a photographer and Hamilton, joined by refugees from Maine, will discuss the current crisis for children in Africa. The event is free however donations will be accepted. Among other activities, Toensing will be auctioning off some of her prints. Proceeds raised with support the campaign and Salt. Please RSVP to HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/events/464225930311015/” https://www.facebook.com/events/464225930311015/ or HYPERLINK “http://intheshadowslaunch.eventbrite.com/#” http://intheshadowslaunch.eventbrite.com/#