Sometimes, when I’m on assignment for Holt International, I see or hear something that gets a brief reaction from me, that causes me to turn the camera and capture the moment, but I don’t have the whole story. This photo and story is one of those situations. I took this photo. I knew this little girl had a a challenging life, but I really had no idea. Fortunately, a brilliant writer and Holt International’s creative director was also there. She captures the story of Phal and the story behind the shot.
Poverty is complicated.
It’s never the same from one family or child to another.
And, while it can be defined by not having enough — material goods, resources, support, opportunities — there are no perfect, broad solutions that help every child escape.
Keeping kids in school helps. Providing advocacy helps. Giving food and medical care helps. And for some families, that support is enough.
But some children need more. They need the individual attention, love and willingness to go the extra mile that parents usually provide.
Poverty also has some ugly, horrible cousins: abuse, neglect, loss.
But every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Every child deserves the love of a family to help them grow and reach their dreams.
Please, I encourage you to go read the article on the Holt International Blog as Billie Loewen reports on Phal’s progress.