The Right To Play.

© Firecracker

The Right To Play.

What do girls dream of?  And what happens when a supportive environment is created where girls are empowered and given the opportunity to learn and dream? The Right To Play merges documentary storytelling with an imagined playful world where girls are shown in an empowered and affirming way, blooming as the heroines of their own stories and overcoming the many barriers to getting an education.

For the first chapter of this project, Firecracker Photographer Lee-Ann Olwage worked with schoolgirls from Kakenya’s Dream in Enoosean, Kenya, who have mange to avoid female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.

Kakenya’s Dream is a non-profit organization that leverages education to empower girls, end harmful traditional practices including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage and transform communities in rural Kenya. They offer a multi-pronged, girl-centred approach to addressing gender inequality, achieving girls’ empowerment, and uplifting rural, vulnerable communities.

Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure and violence. Worldwide, 129 million girls are currently out of school.

In The Right To Play, the girls are briefly free of the worries of their environment and free to dream while shown in a way that is both affirming and celebratory. 

All images © Lee-Ann Olwage / Firecracker 2024