For the “Journeys to School” exhibit, a partnership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Veolia Transdev and Sipa Press, 18 photographers followed schoolchildren in 13 countries — from Brazil to Nigeria to Thailand — as they traveled great distances, often facing significant dangers, to get an education.
The students journey on foot, buses, boats, bicycles, rickshaws, sleds and other modes of transportation. They traverse deserts, mountains, rivers, snow and ice.
For example, 6-year-old Fabricio Oliveira saddles up his donkey every morning to ride with his cousins for more than an hour across a desert landscape to the small village school in Extrema, in the region of Sertão, Brazil.
Elizabeth Atenio, 6, of the Kibera slum near Nairobi, Kenya, sets out on a hazardous hour-long walk to school each day. According to her teachers, at least 20% of her schoolmates have been raped.
“’Journeys to School’ tells a gripping story of courage and determination,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said at the March 4 launch of the exhibit. “These images capture the extraordinary resolve of boys and girls to overcome all challenges — whether these concern gender, disability, location, ethnicity, conflict or natural disasters.”
"Journeys to School" will be on display at the United Nations headquarters in New York until April 26, 2013. To view photos from the exhibit, go here.