The Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture  (CCVT) is a non-profit organization that supports and aids survivors of torture to overcome the lasting effects of torture and war. CCVT offers several programs including settlement and mental health services, children and youth programs, and language and skills training programs.

The Child and Youth Program at CCVT  provides specialized settlement services, recreational and empowerment activities to meet the specific needs of refugee children and youth.

As part of the Youth Program, CCVT offered a series of five photography workshops  to empower youth, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and to make positive choices for their lives. The youth were given cameras to experiment with, taught various ways and angles to take pictures with, shown examples of creative photography by professionals, and asked to go out into the community and take pictures that reflect their individual interests or experiences. The goal of these workshops was to help youth find their creativity and gain confidence in their abilities.

CCVT youth took pictures to create their own blog called “Youth in Focus” to showcase a gallery of photos that allows youth:

  • An opportunity for self-expression
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Public recognition for their talent and creativity
  • Enthusiasm for learning
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • A broadening of their life experience
  • Professional aspirations
  • A sense of hope for self and community