Hosted by Compassion UK, Any Girl tells the story of 10 girls living in poverty, the struggles they face and the joys they share, not just with each other, but with any girl, anywhere.
Photographers Jeremy Tan and Ella Dickinson travelled to Kenya to meet and photograph 10 girls aged 16-years-old or younger, living in rural and urban communities. The stories and images form a testament to the resilience, strength and courage of girls living in the vulnerability of poverty.
Because in one sense these girls are just like any girls, anywhere in the world; they have best friends who look out for them and make them laugh, they enjoy browsing the latest fabrics in their local market and love to dream about their futures. They have teachers to please, homework to do and chores around the house. We see ourselves in these girls, we see our daughters and sisters in these girls.
In another sense, there is something extraordinary about each one of these girls. They display an astounding resilience, strength and courage when faced with pressure from their communities or circumstances. They are young but fiercely focussed. They radiate with joy at the opportunity of education. They are proud to be girls who are changing their tomorrows.
Compassion is an international child development charity with more than 60 years’ experience working with some of the world’s poorest children. More than 100,000 children are currently connected with British sponsors through Compassion, and more than 1.7 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 26 countries around the world.
“Strength enables us to choose education over marriage. I often think, for the girls who have been married off, maybe if they were strong they could have gone to the Chief MP and told her, I don’t want to be married. For me, I know I can go to the Chief and tell her. “I want those girls to study, I don’t want those girls to be married off.”
– Siyianta, 13 years old, Mashuru
“It is important for girls to feel beautiful. If someone tells you that you are ugly you can tell them you are beautiful – only if you know in your heart that you’re beautiful. True beauty comes from education. We are the ones who can show the younger girls how to carry themselves. We can help direct them.”
– Esther, 14 years old, MathareReturn