2010 - 2012
This project means to divulge the suffering in the lives of young minors after their incarceration and the new realities these ex-prisoners face in Sierra Leone. I came across these boys in the maximum-security prison of Pademba, where they were serving time alongside 1,300 adult prisoners and under terrible conditions. The juveniles are released after long periods in prison without rehabilitation The lack of opportunities when they go out is directly related with recidivism rates.
Publication of my photographic work on these jailed minors was widespread in 2011 and 2012 and exhibitions such as the World Press Photo. However, the story did not transcend beyond acquainting a broad audience with this ugly tragedy that encompasses dozens of minors in Sierra Leone jails and thousands in all of Africa.
Seeing there was no specific help to be found, I created the non-governmental organization (NGO) Free Minor Africa (http://www.freeminorafrica.org). This organization directly offers assistance to minors and affords them an opportunity to reintegrate into society. I began with the young people I met in Pademba prison and there have been encouraging results. I believe documenting the changes in these youths and their return to society provides positive examples for an audience to become aware and want to help.
In this series i speak about Abdul Sesay an orphan living during years in Freetown streets. He was accused in 2010 for a minor offense and send to maximun security prison of Pademba. The day that i met hedaily had not received the portion of rice and water. In october 2012 Free Minor Africa was present during his trial and was paifd the bail for a mobile phone . Now he is in Saint Michael center where he lives and he has return to school.