Carol initiated her new project Hidden in the Shadows – Raped pregnant teens in 2022 in Rwanda where she has worked for over 20 years.
Upon her return, after the COVID lockdown, she was shocked to see the tsunami of teen pregnancies, fuelled by sexual violence.
The local NGO ‘Never Again Rwanda’ supported by USAID, was tackling this horrific epidemic of teen rape and pregnancies through their programme of ‘Gender Mainstream Training’. Their project aims to prevent gender-based violence amidst families, along with the support of victims of rape, especially teens.
Never Again Rwanda, who has historically worked with the photographer, commissioned her to create stories to expose this disturbing trend. Carol was inspired by the urgency of their work and undertook this project pro bono. Two trips to the region have been made so far in 2022, and further trips are planned for 2023.
This essay gives voice to these vulnerable girls who are often condemned and shamed by their community and family; a tragedy that leads to despair and at times suicide. Teen mothers is not an isolated problem in Rwanda but a lesser-known tragedy on the global stage.