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Stephanie Sinclair  Pulitzer Prize winning photographer & founder of @tooyoungtowed. I am also a Canon Explorer of Light. All photos ©Stephanie Sinclair.

http://www.stephaniesinclair.com/blog

Photo by Stephanie Sinclair @stephsinclairpix @TooYoungToWed // Niamat weeps over the grave of his daughter Khalida, who set herself on fire after enduring years of abuse from her husband and in-laws. Her younger sister, Khadija, 8 (right), was her main caregiver while she lay dying with burns. The family lives in a small village outside of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. I first encountered the issue of child marriage while working as a news photographer in Afghanistan, where I met several girls in a Herat burn ward. More than 1/2 of the girls who attempted suicide by self-immolation were married as children. Poverty, strong patriarchal values and poor access to education are behind Afghanistan’s high child marriage rates. This April, Afghanistan's Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Culture launched a “National Action Plan To Eliminate Early and Child Marriage” to better address the issue.

This image is part of a 175-image exhibition titled “Too Young to Wed,” which is the inaugural exhibition at the new L’Arche du Photojournalisme, atop at the prestigious Grand Arche de la Defense in Puteaux, Paris. Many of the images were made #onassignment for @natgeo. The show, which opened June 1 and runs through this Sunday, Sept. 24, is complete with educational information about the dangers of #childmarriage and the efforts underway around the world to end the practice – including our work at our nonprofit organization of the same name, @TooYoungToWed.
For more information about the exhibition please visit the link to my blog listed in my bio @stephsinclairpix . #endchildmarriage #tooyoungtowed #afghanistan #family #photojournalism #girls #education #letgirlslearn

For those of you needing a pick me up today ... we are blessed to spend every day with this ball of joy. #family #albinism #happy #adoption

Salmatu Fofanah shares a moment of quiet with a relative, who has the genetic condition of albinism. Out of her entire immediate family, only Salmatu and three of her cousins survived their brush with Ebola, which claimed nearly 4,000 lives in Sierra Leone and another 7,400 in neighboring Guinea and Liberia. Yet the 17-year-old, who I met at a grief counseling support group for Ebola survivors, persevered with a focus on finding joy and purpose. She told our team she loved to laugh and sing and go to the beach with her friends. She worked hard in school and hoped to one day become a journalist. As sometimes happens, only her story, and not her picture, was featured in the “Dangerous Lives of Girls” portion of National Geographic’s January 2017 gender issue.
To learn more about that beautiful day with Salmatu and her family, please visit the link to my latest blog post on my Instagram bio @stephsinclairpix #love #girls #albinism #ebola #survivor #leopardspots

Moderstar, age 15, gets reacquainted with her camera as she prepares to be a student mentor in @tooyoungtowed's second Tehani Photo Workshop in Maralal, Kenya. She was rescued by the Samburu Girls Foundation just weeks before the start of last year's workshop.
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Named after an eight-year-old child bride in Yemen, the workshop brings together 18 brave girls — including 6 student instructors from last year’s workshop — who escaped their marriages and were allowed to pursue their education through the support of the Samburu Girls Foundation.
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Please see the link in my bio for behind the scenes stories about our incredible five-day workshop, where child marriage survivors not only gain the skills to become budding photojournalists, but learn tools to manage their trauma, express themselves, advocate for girls’ rights and become mentors to subsequent workshop participants. With generous support from @canonusa.

#girlscandoanything #createempowerheal #tooyoungtowed #kenya #samburu #endchildmarriage #letgirlslearn #canonusa #girls #canoncps

Photo of Rosilla by Eunice, both 15. Child marriage survivors take part in @tooyoungtowed’s Tehani Photo Workshop in Maralal, Kenya.
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Named after an eight-year-old child bride in Yemen, the workshop brings together 18 brave girls — including 6 student instructors from last year’s workshop — who escaped their marriages and were allowed to pursue their education through the support of the Samburu Girls Foundation. Follow us during this five-day workshop, where child marriage survivors not only gain the skills to become budding photojournalists, but learn tools to manage their trauma, express themselves, advocate for girls’ rights and become mentors to subsequent workshop participants. With generous support from @canonusa.

#girlscandoanything #createempowerheal #tooyoungtowed #kenya #samburu #endchildmarriage #letgirlslearn #canonusa #girls #canoncps

Photo by Nashaki, age 15. Child marriage survivors take part in @tooyoungtowed’s Tehani Photo Workshop in Maralal, Kenya.
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Named after an eight-year-old child bride in Yemen, the workshop brings together 18 brave girls — including 6 student instructors from last year’s workshop — who escaped their marriages and were allowed to pursue their education through the support of the Samburu Girls Foundation. Follow us during this five-day workshop, where child marriage survivors not only gain the skills to become budding photojournalists, but learn tools to manage their trauma, express themselves, advocate for girls’ rights and become mentors to subsequent workshop participants. With generous support from @canonusa.

#girlscandoanything #createempowerheal #tooyoungtowed #kenya #samburu #endchildmarriage #letgirlslearn #canonusa #girls #canoncps

Another day, another eye exam. Happily, the results were a little better than expected. My son was previously diagnosed with 20/400 vision, now that he is older and can communicate more clearly it now registered at 20/200. #albinism #adoption #vision #eyeexam #son

Portrait of Johnathan Lee Iverson @bigtopvoice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus’ first African American ringmaster. Originally trained as an opera singer, Iverson is now using his powerful voice to lead the artistic direction of @OperaDelSol, a production company whose mission is to change the way people experience opera, creating curated conceptual productions in unexpected places around Florida’s Orange and Brevard counties. After 18 years traveling and raising children on a circus train, Iverson is ready to hang his big top hat up. "Life literally came full circle in a most fantastic way. I began my endeavor into entertainment in the fields of opera and classical music. But when The Greatest Show On Earth came calling, how could I say 'no?' Now, barely two months after our final show, I've been asked to venture into a most exciting new endeavor. We’re taking opera to a multigenerational, multiethnic audience. It's going to be the evolutionary leap the performing arts has been craving."
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This image was part of a portrait series on Ringling's amazing circus performers before the show's final show in May. To learn more about how the shoot came together and this lighting set up, please visit the link to my latest blog post on my Instagram bio @stephsinclairpix. #circus #ringmaster #portrait #makeportraits #strength #red #color #thelastringmaster #opera #canonusa #canonexploreroflight

Portrait of trapeze artist Kristin Finley. She’s the first African-American trapeze artist to fly for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. She now performs with two shows -- the Tarzan Zerbini (Circus) and the Jordan World Circus, who work mostly for Shriners Hospitals for Children. "It’s a good feeling to know that we are helping to raise money for children in need,” she said of her new chapter.
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This image was part of a portrait series on Ringing circus performers before the show’s final performance in May. To learn more about how the shoot came together and this lighting set up, please visit the link to my latest blog post on my Instagram bio @stephsinclairpix. #circus #trapeze #chalk #portrait #beauty #strength #women #canonusa #exploreroflight

Portrait of Matthias Phiri, Program Coordinator for LifeSavers Zambia, which has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world with 31% of women aged 20-24 years married by the age of 18 according to UNICEF. In communities outside Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka, Matthias Phiri meets regularly with traditional leaders, faith-based organizations, school and police officials, and other prominent locals to strategize ways to combat child marriage. Members of his ever-growing circle keep an eye out for children who are at risk of getting married and intervene if necessary, pulling vulnerable children out of harm’s way, providing them counseling, re-enrolling them in school and, in some cases, pursuing legal remedies against the perpetrators of child marriage. The biggest challenge, he said, is the discord between the country’s statutory laws, which set the minimum marriage age at 21, and its customary laws, which allow for much greater latitude. In March 2016, the Government of Zambia adopted a five-year national action plan to end child marriage. The Convention on the Rights of the Child recommend counties set a minimum age of marriage to 18 for both men and women.
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This image is part of a 175-image exhibition titled “Too Young to Wed,” which is the inaugural exhibition at the new L’Arche du Photojournalisme, atop at the prestigious Grand Arche de la Defense in Puteaux, Paris. The show, which opened June 1 and runs through Sept. 24, is complete with educational information about the dangers of #childmarriage and the efforts underway around the world to end the practice – including our work at our nonprofit organization of the same name, @TooYoungToWed. @letoitdelagrandearche #zambia #color #champions #everydayafrica #red #change #inspiration #endchildmarriage #letgirlslearn #heforshe #girls #canonusa #exploreroflight

Having lunch with this handsome fella @bdhoben who just got admitted to practice law in federal court. #hubbahubbahubby

Eight-year-old brides, Tehani and Ghada, begin preparations for a family meal at their home outside Hajjah, Yemen. Child marriage has long been an issue in Yemen, one of the few countries in the region without a legal minimum age of marriage. Attempts to set 18 as the minimum marrying age collapsed with the outbreak of the conflict in 2015 and it is estimated that, now, child marriage rates could be much higher. A UNFPA-INTERSOS assessment, which interviewed over 250 community members, local leaders and survivors of child marriage for insight into how families are coping with the conflict, stated that most participants “were of the opinion that child marriage has increased in their community. They all stated that the conflict pushed the practice,” according to the assessment’s findings. While more comprehensive assessments are difficult to do in conflict situations, the report also suggests that girls are being married off even younger. Of the child marriage survivors interviewed in the northern part of the country, 72 per cent were married between ages 13 and 15. Of those in the south, 62 per cent were married before age 16.
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This image is part of a 175-image exhibition titled “Too Young to Wed,” which is the inaugural exhibition at the new L’Arche du Photojournalisme, atop at the prestigious Grand Arche de la Defense in Puteaux, Paris. Many of the images were made #onassignment for @natgeo, including this one. The show, which opened June 1 and runs through Sept. 24, is complete with educational information about the dangers of #childmarriage and the efforts underway around the world to end the practice, which occurs in more than 50 countries spanning many cultures and religions. It also includes information about our nonprofit organization of the same name, @TooYoungToWed, which seeks to protect girls' rights and #endchildmarriage. @letoitdelagrandearche #girls #child #girlseducation #conflict #color

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