“Thank you for giving visibility to such broken and violated lives.”

Herminia Álvarez represents Vedruna at the opening of the photographic exhibition “Niños esclavos. The back door”, which can be visited at the Salesian Missions Museum until the end of March.

The Salesian Missions Museum in Madrid is hosting until March 27 the exhibition “Niños esclavos. The back door”, a photographic exhibition by Ana Palacios that has toured various centers working for the recovery of children subjected to sexual and labor slavery in Benin, Gabon and Togo. The projects are carried out by the Salesians, Messengers of Peace and the Carmelites of Charity Vedruna; in the latter case, the Kekeli center in Togo and Arc en Ciel in Gabon.

Accompanying the journalist and filmmaker, author of a book and a documentary with the same title as the exhibition, Herminia Álvarez participated on behalf of Vedruna, the NGO Solive and the Vic Foundation. “I am here on behalf of the Vedruna sisters and educators who live in Libreville and Lomé making possible the welcome and life that this exhibition shows,” he said. “They live, day and night, in shelters and transit homes, in markets, on the street, in prison… They generate family for the children who are experiencing so many difficulties. Arc en Ciel in Gabon and the Kekeli Center in Togo are places of family, of present and future.

“I also want to highlight the joint work” that these Vedruna works “carry out there together with other entities,” he added, alluding to the importance of cooperation and “mutual support” with organizations such as Mensajeros de la Paz and the Salesian congregation.

Photo © Daniel Sanchez

Herminia Álvarez praised the work of Ana Palacios for her “wonderful way of exposing and giving visibility to such broken and violated lives, and doing it in such a beautiful way, which shows that there are outlets for them as well. The focus of your camera fills them with dignity,” she said.

There were also words of thanks to Salesian Missions, responsible for an exhibition that is part of the “Dream without chains” campaign, which seeks to denounce the reality in which millions of minors live, subjected to the worst forms of exploitation.

Along with this photographic exhibition, you can visit the UBUNTU Space, which, through play, seeks to generate a reflection on the situation of vulnerability of minors and highlights the contribution of African cultures.

Both exhibitions can be visited free of charge from Monday to Friday, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.