“Have you ever been attacked by a tiger?”

“Have you ever been attacked by a tiger?”

March 10, 2014 in General Leave a reply

“Have you ever been attacked by a tiger?” was my favourite question asked by a six year old today.

I was asked by Kenton Primary School to speak to each class about my work as a photographer as part of their series of talks to inspire the children to “Be the best they can be”. It’s always a privilege to talk about some of the amazing people I’ve met over the years through my work and especially if I can inspire a few children about the world they live in.

I focused my talk  on ten year old Jamila from Niger. She was an inspiring girl I met in Niger in 2010 while I was working for Save the Children during a severe food crisis that affected the country. Djamila had to leave her home and her school to go to the nearest town to beg for food because all their crops had failed. She told me how hard it was and how pleased she was when her family returned home and she could go to school again and sing and dance with her friends – like all children should be able to. I showed them the porridge that Djamila eats for breakfast, lunch and supper if she’s lucky and what the water that she would draw out of the nearest well would look like. They reflected on how different this was to their breakfast and being able to turn on a tap for clean water.

The toughest question one of the pupils asked me was “what is the hardest thing you’ve had to photograph?” I wasn’t sure whether to answer truthfully but decided I should. The answer is watching a young boy die in front of me in a clinic that was treating malnourished children. His mother had brought him in to be treated but despite the doctor doing everything he could, sadly it was too late. I later went to his funeral, invited by his father. It’s something that brings tears to my eyes each time I remember that little boy.

Just to finish this blog on a happier note I’m pleased to say that I have never been attacked by a tiger!

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