In early 2016, US apparel brand Colosseum Athletics teamed up with The Centre (formerly CCR CSR) to implement a one-year Migrant Parent Support Programme for the workers in their supplier factory C&C in Wuxi, China. The majority of C&C's workers are migrant parents and many have left-behind children.
Part of that programme involved PhotoVoice, a creative programme that teaches workers photography techniques and sends them home over the Chinese New Year with a camera to capture moments with their loved ones. Upon returning to the factory, workers receive further training in story-telling and communication skills, which they apply when drafting captions and stories for each image. PhotoVoice encourages workers to use photography as a means of expression and engaging with their children, while also allowing them to hold on to the memories through photographs.
Workers chose 2-4 of their favourite images to submit into a PhotoVoice exhibition, with posters of each participant's works adorning the factory walls for all to see. All factory workers were encouraged to vote for their favourite photo stories and the winners were rewarded with special gifts during a closing ceremony in April 2017.
Although each story is unique, one thing stands out in all submissions: their love for their children and gratitude towards their caregivers.
“CNY this year was a bit different to previous years; we were quite busy dealing with some family issues, so I didn’t pay much attention to my children even though I hadn’t seen them for a year. One day, when my daughter saw a camera which was given by The Centre for the PhotoVoice project she asked me to take a photo of her. At that moment I realised that I really should spend time with my children. So I took lots of photos of my son and my daughter, and took them to the county’s amusement park. Now when I see their happy faces in the photo album, I can still remember those happy moments.” A migrant mother workers, with two left-behind children
Click here to read and see their stories.
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