Pictures of Poverty - Compassion International

Pictures of Poverty
The pictures of poverty and children in need that you see on our website are meant to show the dignity and hope living within the poor despite the oppression poverty inflicts upon them.
What Does Poverty Look Like?

When you think or talk about poverty what images come to mind? What do you picture poverty looking like? Does it look anything like this?

a young Filipino girl wearing a green shirt smiles while wrapping her hands and arms up around her head

Is your picture of poverty shaped by images of malnutrition, emaciated bodies, distended bellies or dirty and unclothed toddlers with flies on their faces?

Do these pictures suggest poverty to you?

a girl laughing despite her poverty
a smiling salvadoran girl living in poverty
a haitian girl
a filipino toddler born into poverty
a smiling boy who lives in poverty

Do your pictures of poverty include smiling and laughing children?

Expressing Need While Maintaining Dignity

In our poverty photography, we believe in being honest about the challenges the poor face, we seek to portray them in ways that show hope and the promise of a positive future. We strongly believe in upholding the dignity of the poor.

Our pictures of poverty communicate need — if there is no need why sponsor a child — but the need in our photos is shown through expressions or other contextual conditions.

a solemn haitian boy in poverty
a solemn sri lankan girl in poverty
a solemn colombian girl in poverty
a solemn filipino girl in poverty
a smiling boy

We work hard to portray the dignity of the poor in our photographs. We view the poor through Jesus’ eyes. Our imagery does not portray "the pornography of poverty," where poor men, women and children lose their dignity because a picture focuses overwhelmingly on the brutality of their condition or environment.

Our pictures of poverty are meant to show the dignity and hope which live within the poor despite the oppression poverty inflicts upon them.

an african boy standing in the doorway of his home

Children and families living in poverty face many challenges. They have many needs. But the poor also have many riches. A picture of a smiling or laughing child doesn’t mean that poverty is absent or that need isn’t present.

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