Robb Costello


We Must Try

On Display

September 7, 2005 – September 30, 2005


Hallway Gallery, level 2

A photographic Documentary of the Children at Zamani Educare Centre in Duncan Village, South Africa

The word Zamani literally means “we must try.” When I stepped into the small series of shacks that constitute the Zamani Educare Centre I immediately felt that spirit of action that has come over the school. Precariously placed in Duncan Village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the preschool was started Ncumisa Yoyo, a resident of Duncan Village with a concern for the growing number of children taking to the streets. It began small over a decade ago and has grown to an enrollment of well over 200 children from 0–6 years old. In the wake of the Apartheid it became a place of refuge for these children. Amongst this shack-town whose statistics concerning crime, AIDS, substance abuse and unemployment are enough to make even the strongest want to give up all hope, it stands as a symbol of what happens when a few people refuse to give up.

BYU students became affiliated with the preschool a few years ago and every year a few students on an independent field study started volunteering at the school. Last year a fire hit Duncan Village and threatened the lives of the 200+ kids that are enrolled there. This presented a new threat to the safety of the children and BYU students began fundraising to build a formal structure. To date they have raised around half of the 50,000 dollars required to build this structure. The pictures shown here represent an effort to capture a bit of the spirit of Zamani as I saw it over the three months I spent volunteering and photographing at the school.