From Africa to an Arctic village, children get to school in different ways far from the American transportation mode of the big yellow school bus. In Kenya, some walk two hours through slums. In the Arctic village, some struggle with wicked weather and diminished daylight.
In November and December of 2012, 18 photographers focused on children from 13 countries — Thailand, Nigeria, Alaska — on their “Journeys to School,” and those pictures are part of a new, free photographic exhibition open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the United Nations Visitors Centre, First Avenue at East 46th Street in Manhattan, through March 26. The children’s challenges include poverty, lack of transportation, political conflicts and more.
In one region of Brazil, for instance, children travel to school by horse, mule or cart across an area suffering from its worst drought in more than 40 years. In Guyana, some children travel to school by canoe.
New York is represented as well — Santiago Munoz of Far Rockaway takes two buses and two subways each day to attend Bronx High School of Science. His journey became even more taxing after superstorm Sandy.
The photographs have also been collected in a book with the children’s stories that will be sold online at Unesco.org; a percentage of the proceeds from sales will be invested in projects supporting education.
When the exhibit leaves New York, it will tour France and then the globe through 2015.