This project will give digital cameras and photo instruction to 10 ethnic Burmese women refugees who are HIV+ and living on the Thai/Myanmar border. These women are unable to work because of their undocumented status and health issues. By giving them a voice and a means of creative expression, they will build their sense of self-worth and empowerment. Their images will be exhibited and proceeds from print sales will be split 50/50 between them and the project.
These women face two main challenges: 1. They are HIV + and are stigmatized by their peers. 2. Because they are undocumented refugees, they are unable to obtain work or residence permits, and must rely on community based organizations (such as Social Action for Women) for health care and housing.
The MY STORY photo project provides cameras and photo workshops to participants. This is a marketable skill that also builds self-esteem and confidence.
With the assistance of the MY STORY photo project, participants will be able to train other community members in photo advocacy for the challenges they face as refugees, as HIV+, and as women.