The Mwelu Foundation is a self-help group operating in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi, founded by born-and-raised Mathare resident Julius Mwelu.

Julius became involved with Lana Wong’s Shootback Project at the age of 12, a well-funded project teaching photographic skills to children in the slum. Julius’ success led to him becoming a professional UN photographer  who also educates countless people around the world about what life in a slum is really like, through the eyes of the children. The Gallery depicts this extraordinarily and the Foundation have had three films accepted into the Kenyan International Film Festival (KIFF). Ghetto Girl, Flying Toilet and Inevitable Pain will be shown along side other entries in various locations in Nairobi.

“Children have vivid and important stories to tell, and cameras are dynamic tools for this expression”. Lana Wong and football coach Francis Kimanzi started the Shootback Project to help give young people in Mathare the means to tell their own stories.

Here’s an example of the kids work [by Stephen Ochieng aged 12] :

The Shootback Project continues to train young photographers in Mathare today through Julius’ Mwelu Foundation and their photos are displayed both in the slum and in international shows. Introduced by colleague and volunteer, Kami Munderu, AVIF hopes to assist this fantastic work by possibly sending volunteers starting next month.

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