In 2000 every United Nations member state agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals. By 2015 extreme poverty and hunger were to be eradicated, primary education was to be offered to all, gender equality promoted and the battle intensified against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
In 2005 Nick Danziger was commissioned by the charity World Vision to visit eight countries – one for each of the UN goals – and see what effect they were having on real people’s lives.
Nick soon realized that one journey wasn’t going to be enough. So he returned five years later – and then again in 2015 with author Rory MacLean – to assemble an extraordinary, stark portrait of lives lived on the edge. Had the Millennium Development Goals succeeded in giving the families a better life? Did their sons no longer go to bed hungry? Are their daughters now able to go to school? Or would such grand intentions end up as nothing more than empty promises?
This book will be a collection of remarkable true stories that will leave no one unmoved. Some of the women and children Nick and Rory followed have died through sickness and poverty. One has become the most successful entrepreneur her African border town has ever known. Another – who once dreamed of becoming a banker – is now a gang member in the world’s murder capital. Yet another has confronted conformists and successfully changed his gender.
Nick and Rory plan to make a large format 320 page book containing over 180 black and white photographs and 20,000 words of text telling and illustrating the stories of forty lives in India, Cambodia, Zambia, Uganda, Niger, Honduras, Bolivia and Armenia.
The book will stand as a permanent record of their courage and humanity, but also as a reminder that much work still needs to be done if these goals are to be met.
Please help make it happen.
Size: Large Format, 354x245mm
Paper: 150gsm coated art paper
Extent: 320 pages
Binding: Hardback, cloth-bound with 4 colour dust jacket
Irene, 16, Zambia 2005
Irene first sold herself at the age of 12. 'I went into sex work so I could remain in school,' she said. 'When my father left us and my mother couldn't afford my books, uniform or fees, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I first slept with a man to buy exercise books. Then I worked the truck stops to sell sex to truckers.' Irene considered herself lucky as she hadn't contracted AIDS or fallen pregnant, even though none of her clients agreed to wear a condom.
Irene, 21, Zambia 2010
Five years on Irene had lost her first born to malnutrition and given birth to a second child. She had also become HIV+. When Nick Danziger refound her, she told him, 'I didn't think I would ever see you again. In another five years time I will be dead.' Her ARV treatment was free but she hadn't enough money to buy the food necessary for the drug to be effective. 'I just wanted to support my family. I nearly realised my goal of returning to school because my first daughter got sick and all the money I'd saved went to pay for the medical expenses and her funeral.'
Irene, 26, Zambia 2015
'I pray and cry to God to let me earn enough money to keep my girls at school,' said Irene. By 2015 she had two daughters Grace, 8 and Sara, aged 3. 'I'll go without food to pay for their education. I'll even sell our land. But I will never, never go back on the street.' All she owned in the world was a small plot of land on which she had built three mud huts to rent out. But they went unoccupied and then filled up with penniless relations who Irene also began to support.
Pov, 14, Cambodia 2010
Until 2006, Pov had earned his living shining shoes on Phnom Penh's riverfront alongside his sister. Soon after their family – along with hundreds of other slum dwellers -- were evicted from Som Bok Chab, Pov fell into a fight. He picked up a bamboo pole to protect his cousin and was arrested. To free him from prison his mother Rihorn had to pay a bribe of $100, which she borrowed from a moneylender at 30% interest, per month. It would take them five years to pay off the loan.
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