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Nigerian Children Photographers Exhibit Their Surroundings

The lives of hundreds of Nigerian children are documented in an exhibit of photos they shot themselves. The exhibit opened recently in Lagos. Voice of America's Kim Russell narrates Paul Ndiho's report.

The children come from some of the most affluent as well as disadvantaged communities in Lagos. Their photos are meant to help educate people about the extreme poverty gap in Africa's most populous nation. All of the children were given cameras for a weekend to take pictures of their homes and environment. Ete Ayide is the head of the African Child Development Initiative: "One part of the project is to bring awareness for the children around Lagos, to be aware that there are some children who are less fortunate than themselves, and to develop the whole empathy process."

More than 400 of the best images were put on display.

Pam Akinyi is a student photographer. She says some things went wrong in her efforts, and gives an example: "There were a lot of mistakes when I was taking the pictures. Like the flash, it was quite hard, because the flash kept going off."

Lagos has some of Africa's most expensive real estate, alongside wooden huts built on stilts over a lagoon.

Student photographer Tobi Aguntor says the photos show two extremes of a vast city of 14 million people. He says he took pictures of everyday items: "I took pictures of some things like the food we eat, even green leaves that live around us, even water that lives around us, even goats and other animals and other things."

Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa's second-biggest economy after South Africa. It's home to the continent's largest oil producers and some of its major financial institutions. Organizers say they hope the photo project helps to stimulate the intellectual potential of all of the children, no matter what their backgrounds may be.