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Street children with babies

Giving a voice to teenage women who got pregnant while living on the streets, this photo-documentary returns to meet six young mothers in Managua eight years after having their child.

Koen Suidgeest

A project of


Created in

Managua, Nicaragua
From 5.500€
Contribute to the project
View project in Castellano


We have reached our funding goal! Thank you so much! And please keep donating and promoting during the remaining time. Every little contribution will create more visibility for these girls. During the campaign I have received several proposals for exhibitions, which we can make reality with any additional funds that come in.

Eight years ago, I photographed a group of teen mothers and their babies in a shelter for street children in Managua, Nicaragua. This spring, I am returning with my camera to find out whether their dreams have come true.

Street children with babiesdocumenting motherly dreams

In 2008, when I was planning my documentary film Karla’s Arrival in Nicaragua, I photographed six street mothers. They were still kids, between 12 and 17 years old. Together with their newborns, they had taken shelter at a local NGO. They received a bed and cot, were properly fed, learned life skills, and were given medical and psychological attention. After some time, mother and baby were guided back into society, ideally back to their own families.

The love beaming from the eyes of these young women is deeply touching. Beyond their weathered exteriors, there is an imagined happy future for them. This makes me wonder: how have they fared in life since I met them? What has become of their babies? I invite you to find out with me.

When & How

In April, I am returning to Nicaragua armed with copies of the original images, my stills camera, a short list of contacts and some money for the bus.

It is my intention to find the six mothers (who are now between 19 and 25) and their children, and ask them if I can photograph their lives as they are living it today.

My goal is to discover what has become of the love that oozes from their faces in the original pictures of eight years ago. Did their dreams come true? No doubt they each have a different answer.

It is a great honor that we have already secured a first publication, by OneWorld, the prestigious Dutch magazine on international development, human rights and sustainability. We will work hard to make sure other international magazines will follow.

The images will also be turned into a travelling exhibition, just like we did with my previous photo project, Costuras a flor de piel.

And finally, after some time, the photos and stories will be published online as part of a photo-documentary, freely accessible to all.

Your collaboration

Please join me in turning this beautiful project about street children with babies into a reality. Your donation will finance the cost of the trip, fine art prints of the photographs (including copies for the six mothers) and a small permanent exhibition for the offices of Casa Alianza in Managua, the NGO that manages the shelter where I took the original pictures.

Oh and please, spread the word! Thank you so much!!


There are none published yet.

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  • Koen Suidgeest

    Koen Suidgeest

    over 3 years

    Hola Nelida, gracias por tu mensaje. Estaría muy interesado en que publiques la inciativa en tu blog. Si quieres, podemos hacer skype o hablar por email, lo que mejor te va bien. Escríbame por favor a koen@suidgeest.com. Un saludo!! Koen

  • nelida


    over 3 years

    Hola! Me interesa mucho tu proyecto para hablar de él en un blog colaborativo en el que publico. Me gustaría hacerte una pequeña entrevista y dar a conocer tu campaña de crowdfunding. Si estás interesado no dudes en escribirme ¡muchas gracias!

#06 / Managua again!

(español abajo)

Dear friends of Street Children with Babies,

It’s definitely time for a quick update on the project you are supporting!

The most important news is that today I have returned from Managua. I was asked to serve on the jury of the Icaro Film Festival in Nicaragua and to give some workshops, and used this opportunity to stick around for ten more days to be able to continue with the photo project.

You’ll remember that there are six original portraits taken in 2008 of mothers aged 12 to 17 with their babies. When I left the country last April, we had found and photographed only two of the six girls. This time, I photographed one more and ‘found’ another one.

Along with some new photographs of recent young mothers in the shelter ran by Casa Alianza, I am confident that we have enough material. The next step will be to select the images and design the exhibition. Of course I’ll keep you posted on that process.

read more

#05 / Managua!

(español abajo)

Dear supporters of Street Children with Babies,

Last Monday evening I arrived in Managua in order to start the photo project, a moment I have been dreaming of for the past year and a half. My first appointment on Tuesday was at Casa Alianza, the street children NGO which manages the young mothers shelter where I took the original pictures in 2008. They had done some pre-work, and within a few hours I was sitting opposite one of the girls I was hoping to find, the now 20 year old María Isabel and her 7 year old daughter Nathalie. She lives with her partner and two more children in a village outside of Managua, where I spent some time taking photographs in the past days (see enclosed).

Meanwhile, with the help of Casa Alianza, I was also able to locate young mother number two: the now 21 year old Joselín. Tomorrow, Sunday, I will spend all day at her home taking photos, too.

read more

#04 / We made it! / Lo conseguimos!

(español abajo)

Dear supporters of Street Children with Babies,

THANK YOU for your support!! As you know by now, we reached the funding goal of 5.500 euros and even raised some extra off-line for a grand total of 6.340 euros towards this beautiful project. I am extremely grateful for your trust and your encouragement. The additional money will come in very handy, since during the course of the campaign I had several requests for exhibitions. So we can put the money to good use.

I need some more info for the incentives. There are two questions below, which I ask you to answer. Simply reply to this message and fill in the blanks underneath the questions. Please do not change the subject line of this message.

How do you want to be credited in the thank you section (first name, last name)?

Please share the postal address where we can send your incentive:

For your information: you will be added to a mailing list and will periodically receive updates on the project via a newsletter.

read more

#03 / La casa de acogida (español)

Queridos mecenas de Niños de la calle con bebés,

Gracias de nuevo por tu generosidad! Con este mensaje, quería contarte un poco más sobre la casa de acogida donde hice las fotos originales en el 2008. Es un ‘shelter’ especializado en el cuidado de chicas que se han quedado embarazadas mientras vivían en la calle. Esta casa de ‘Jóvenes Madres’ pertenece a una organización que se llama Casa Alianza, que a su vez tiene varias casas en la ciudad de Managua y otras capitales centroamericanas.

Cuando visité la casa aquel primera de muchas veces, hice también la foto de abajo. Aquí se aprecia perfectamente qué jóvenes son algunas de estas madres. Y las que están embarazadas también! Algunas solo tienen 12 años.

En la casa, estas jóvenes mujeres no solo reciben un techo y tres comidas diarias, pero también atención médica y terapia psicológica.… read more

#02 / The shelter (English)

Dear supporters of Street children with babies,

Thank you again for your generosity! With this post I wanted to tell you some more about the facility where I took the original pictures back in 2008. It's a home specialised in care for young girls who got pregnant while living on the streets. The 'jóvenes madres' shelter belongs to a larger organisation called Casa Alianza, who run several facilities in Managua and other Central-American capitals.

When I was there that first of many times, I also took the below picture. Here you can really see how young some of the mothers are. And the pregnant girls as well! Some are as young as 12.

At the shelter, these young women not only receive a roof over their head and three meals a day, but also medical attention and much-needed psychological help. Some are still struggling with substance abuse as they come… read more

#01 / Thank you / Gracias

(español abajo)

Thank you for supporting Street children with babies! With your contribution, we will make sure these girls have a voice.

We have finished the first week of fundraising and I am extremely happy with the result. Twenty percent of our goal has been reached, and we have had pledges every single day.

This week I also finalised our agreement with Casa Alianza in Nicaragua. They are the ones that manage the shelter where the young mothers who are the protagonists of this photo project were living back in 2008. Casa Alianza is committed to helping me find them. In exchange, I will spend some time in their larger shelter (a facility for street kids ironically called The Hilton, since it was constructed with a grant from the Hilton Foundation) and take some photographs they will be able to use for promotional use. They will also be the recipients of some images of the project itself, so they can create their own mini-exhibition at their offices in Managua.

read more

15 backers

For everyone on all levels:

• A huge thank you and a big hug!
• A credit on the exhibition and the website.
• Apart from that, 3 newsletters with behind-the-scenes photos and stories from the trip to Nicaragua will reach you.
Thank you!

7 backers

A postcard with a personal message mailed to you from Nicaragua during our April trip.

25 backers

A collection of four handcrafted wrist bands brought back from Nicaragua and sent to you upon our return.
Expected: May 2016.

11 backers

A fine art print of one of the images you pick of the exhibition (size 13x18 cm). Includes autographed certificate of authenticity.
Expected: August 2016.

5 backers

An autographed DVD of Karla’s Arrival, the award-winning documentary film that inspired this photo project.
Expected: May 2016.

7 backers

A beautiful set of three panorama postcards (21x10 cm) with images from the exhibition.
Expected: August 2016.

5 backers

Surprise souvenir package with three handcrafted items brought back from Nicaragua. Think: necklaces, wristbands, key chains...
Expected: May 2016.

4 backers

An exclusively designed poster (50x75 cm) of the exhibition, ready to be framed to brighten your wall.
Expected: August 2016.

15 backers

A beautiful fine art print of one of the most powerful images of the exhibition (size 20x30 cm). Includes autographed certificate of authenticity.
As a bonus, we’ll throw in one of the above incentives (you may choose from the ones up to 35 euros).
Expected: August 2016.

4 backers

Two one hour training sessions in portrait photography. In the first we cover the basics. You will then get an assignment, which we will evaluate in the second session. Can take place in person or by Skype. Date to be convened.

3 backers

Dinner for four! I will come to your house and cook a three course dinner for four persons. All you pay are travel expenses and drinks. Plus each guest will receive an autographed DVD copy of Karla’s Arrival, the award-winning documentary film that inspired this photo project. Of course, as I’m cooking, I’ll tell you all about the trip you helped finance…
Date to be mutually agreed. Only available in Benelux.

1 backer

Photo shoot of you and your family, friends or colleagues. I’ll come and spend three hours with you and the people of your choice taking photographs. This incentive includes three fine-art prints (13x18 cm) as well as six digital copies of the best images. Travel expenses not included.
Date to be mutually agreed.

2 left (of 2)

Join the expedition! Spend three days with me in Nicaragua creating the project! We will put you up in our hotel for three days (meals included) and will invite you to be present during part of the photo shoot. Upon your return home, we will send you three fine-art prints (13x18 cm) as well as ten digital copies of the best images we took of you in the country, a larger size fine art print of the best photograph of the exhibition (20x30 cm), and an autographed copy of the exclusively designed poster. Airfare not included.
The trip takes place from 11-23 April, 2016.

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