In early 2016, Caritas Germany in Tajikiskan approached me with the idea of running a photography workshop for adolescents at the Zumrad Youth Center in Dushanbe. The idea was to teach basic photography skills to five adolescents in order to enable them to express themselves in a creative manner. We hoped it would help them to become more assertive and develop a more positive outlook for their futures. At the end, we planned an exhibition of ten images each around the theme of "My Life".
Over the next eight weeks, I came to know five extraordinary young Tajiks with unique talents and gifts. There is a singer, an artist, a young woman who is going to a high school in the US for a year. There is a young woman overcoming a crippling disease, a young man who is taking his life in both hands by helping other kids. I came to respect and love those young people. And the photography?
Did they ever run with it.
My name is OzodaMo Faromuz. I live in a family of four beautiful women: my grandma, mom, me and my cat.
This year I am graduating from the science lyceum at the Moscow State University branch in Dushanbe, but my soul is humanitarian. I love reading, drawing, dancing, singing and listening music. I am volunteering from age of 14.
I'd like to be a manager; as I am interested in team working. My credo is "What doesn't kill you, make you stronger".
I am Yevdokimov Anastasia, was born on 2nd of March, 2001 in the city of Dushanbe. I went to the first class in 2008 and now in the 9th grade at boarding school №1.
I am Gaybullaeva Mehrona Avarovna. When I was 8 years old, my mom passed away and after a few years, also my father dead. I've grown up and now I am 16 years old. But I never gave up, because I was grown up by my great aunt and sister. She's not just my aunt; she is my mother and a piece of my heart, which has given me everything I have now.
But by them I have a beloved younger sister. She is 15 years old and her name is Iroda. We are living in boarding school № 1 and going in the same class. I am studying well for notes 4 and 5 and have wonderful classmates. At school, I am participating in almost all festivals and events. I'm choosing the songs for the events and trying be active to develop my talents.
If someone thinks that singing is a hobby, for me it's a dream to become a singer. When I step at first time on the stage, its throws me the creeps and I was scared. Thanks NGO “Zumrad” and their staff, I overcame my fear and on 29th May I had an own exhibition and sang a duet with Master Ismail.
Here is the autobiography of one of the Great People of the World!
Okay, just kidding ...
You read the autobiography of 16- year-old boy from Dushanbe, who loves music, acting, singing, painting, photography and much more. In short, self-development ...shortly saying - cool guy, whose name Bejan.
I am Rahimzoda Rahmon and I'm 25 years old. Due to illness of my mother, I was grow up in the children’s home from my babyhood and with 7 years went to the boarding school №1. This boarding school is my home! After graduating the school, I was studying in the Service and Tourism Lyceum and graduated as guide-wire.
I love music, playing guitar, and love to take pictures and to travel. Now I am learning English.
I am a principled, energetic and cheerful and have many friends.
Nastya's images are full of optimism and positivity. Her favorite image is the "Open" sign - it symbolizes her life, she says, as it's open for business. She also observes the life around her with great love and attention to detail.
Bejan is an artist - he is quirky, funny, artistic, full of ideas. His images show his unique style and his attitude about life.
Mekhrona loves photographing people. She misses her family dearly - her mom and dad passed away when she was young - but she loves the people around her fiercly. She is also a very talented singer and has performed on stage to great acclaim.
Ozodamo lives with her mother, grandmother, and cat in an apartment around the corner from the youth center. She is currently attending High School in the US as a participant in the Flex Program. She has great talent and will go far.
Rakhmon is the oldest participant and it shows in the maturity of his images. He observes life around him with great attention to detail and uses unusual angles to direct the viewers attention to his subjects. He photographs life at the orphanage where he grew up and where he volunteers while he is training to become a tour guide.
The Zumrad Youth Center is so many things for so many adolescents in Dushanbe. They teach the youth valuable skills from repairing bicycles to sewing and cooking, and every young person is welcomed with open arms. Margarete, who runs the center, is always gracious and full of warmth. They do very valuable work. If you want to help, you can donate to the center via Caritas Dushanbe, and if you want to support the young artists you came to know, you can purchase any of their art for very reasonable prices. We offer a package of four prints for $100 or any single print for $25. If you are interested, please use the contact form below. We will get back to you quickly!