I was a missionary in Kenya in 2004-2005. I was assigned to Church World Service, East Africa to take photographes, write human interest stories, and help with report writing. This photograph was taken at a primary school in Nairobi that butted up against a landfill.
There was some really big programme kick-off and all kinds of politic big whigs were to be there. I went to take photos for CWSEA. We have a programme that sought to mitigate violence and war by protecting schools and involving the community to invest in the protection of the schools.
As I was taking pictures the tall boy in this photo asked me to take a picture. When I set the camera on him he motioned over to the other two boys to come in to frame. The other children in the yard were kept at bay with glaring looks of promised whoopings.
Through an interpreter I found out that these three boys had come from Sudan and were living in a slum near the school. A local agency sponsored them to attend school. This was the first time the three had a photo of themselves. I promised to return with a copy for each of them.
I left the school and came back in the next few weeks to give the boys the photos. I could not find them and no one at the school could tell me what had happened to them. I often look at this photo and pray for them.