‘Developing Lives’ — exhibition at Oxo Tower of our work in Africa

Uplifting photographs from development projects supporting disabled people in Africa were exhibited in London in January 2016.

Developing Lives showed the lives of people with disabilities in Kenya, Tanzania and Sierra Leone supported by the pioneering educational and business projects we run.


The exhibition provided a vivid insight into the lives of disabled people in developing countries who are overcoming social, cultural and financial challenges to receive an education and earn a living.

The photos showed lives affected by disease, conflict and poverty, but also stories of hope, struggle, independence and achievement against the odds.

The images were taken by up-and-coming photographer Hamish Roberts — who is profoundly deaf — and internationally renowned photographer Jenny Matthews.

Hamish Roberts

Violet Achieng by Hamish RobertsHamish grew up in London and studied photography at Falmouth University.

The 25-year-old photographer is profoundly deaf and found travelling the globe with his camera helped build his confidence in the hearing world.

After university Hamish spent six months at a school for deaf children in Tanzania, where he developed a love of east Africa and its people, and he also learnt to sign in Swahili.

‘I’ve been to Africa quite a few times and I’ve seen how disabled people can be treated, and it’s very upsetting.

‘The work Leonard Cheshire Disability does is phenomenal. It’s a positive approach, focused on bringing out the best in people in challenging circumstances.’ — Hamish

Jenny Matthews

Photo of Sierra Leone by Jenny MatthewsJenny has worked as a photographer since 1982. Her work has been commissioned by a wide range of international publications, including Marie Claire, Guardian Weekend magazine and The Sunday Times.

She has also produced substantial work for development organisations, particularly in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia.

‘One of the most moving experiences on this trip to Sierra Leone was going into school.

‘In the past children with disabilities wouldn’t get to go to school - they would be locked up.

‘But now Leonard Cheshire brings parents, teachers and disabled children together — they are made part of the community.’ — Jenny

How to support our work

People with disabilities make up 15% of the world’s population and are one of the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups within society.

They are often denied their most basic human rights — cut off from education, employment and healthcare. Many live in extreme poverty.

We support over 12,000 disabled children and adults in education and employment projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and other developing countries.

We want to offer these life-changing opportunities to a further 100,000 people over the next five years. We need your help to make this happen.

Photo credits: Hamish Roberts, Jenny Matthews