Out of the Mines
The exhibit showcased several Congolese women and children including two HEAR Congo program graduates, Eliane and Niclette, modeling some of the colorful clothes that they designed and made. The portraits were photographed by photographer Barry Harley, who spent three weeks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), documenting the women’s experience. His work aims to bring to light their initial plight and later success stories, to offer hope to even more women whose lives could not have been changed without help from Hear Congo and its sponsors.
More than half of the world’s supply of cobalt, used for lithium-ion batteries like the ones powering smartphones, comes from the DRC, a poverty-stricken country where tens of thousands of young women and children toil at the mines under dangerous and indecent conditions. UNICEF estimates that at least 40,000 teenagers and children are working at these mines for pennies a day. Because of HEAR Congo programs, Congolese women and children receive education, develop technical skills and become empowered to escape heinous work conditions in cobalt mines.
Eliane and Nicolette
Nicolette photographed in a copper mine in Kolwezi, She is wearing a dress she designed and made.
Eliane photographed in a copper mine in Kolwezi, She is wearing a dress she designed and made.
Lufeko has graduated from the Hear Congo program and now mentors other women
Ruth a graduate of the Hear Congo program
Kiala, Ruth and Lukoki