Father Raphael now runs the basilica. It was not his first choice. Formerly, he had done more outreach and procurement of supplies for rural villages. But when the new archbishop was appointed, his grace decided it was time for the father to move into the city and run the cathedral. Though his work had changed, he still had involvement with many people who were dealing directly on the streets. Among them were three Nigerian nuns who had lived across from the basilica for the past eight years, and as long as there was funding, they didn't have plans to go anywhere. The former archbishop had started their program and had recruited the three Nigerian nuns. Their program had grown, now with several employees and with volunteers supplied mainly from the Netherlands. It was a small chain of events that lead to our meeting. The father had borrowed their van to pick us up and as I knew the father and we needed to return their van, it was at this point I learned of their program.
Every morning during the week, the nuns and volunteers would meet and decide who would go into the field and who would remain. They were not there to convert but to provide support. Their mission is to go visit communities of street children in and around Kumasi market and make them aware of their facilities including the opportunity to bathe, participate in activities and should they want, have the opportunity to return home. Kumasi market is the largest market in Ghana, with the promise of opportunity for work and draws hundreds of kids from broken homes or those from impoverished regions. Many of these children are under the age of 12. The work that they typically do is moving products from place to place in the typical Ghanaian way, with a large bowl on their heads.
One of the nuns offered to take me through the market and show me what they do and some of the places where the children congregate. Several days later when I had a free morning I spent the morning with them. When we returned back to their facility, many children had come. I offered to take portraits for those who wanted to. Some did, some didn't. 25 children decided to be photographed. It wasn't until that evening that I realized all 25 individual portraits were taken in 8 minutes. As I didn't recall feeling rushed, it is times like these I am reminded that photography has the ability to alter time as well as capture a slice of it. 7 of the 25 are depicted here. All images were taken with the New Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8 VC at various focal lengths mostly f4.0 1/400th.