MPs invited to Compassion UK Photography Exhibition in the Palace of Westminster

MPs invited to Compassion UK Photography Exhibition in the Palace of Westminster

Child development charity, Compassion UK, welcomed MPs and church leaders to a photography exhibition at the Terrace Pavilion in the Palace of Westminster yesterday on January 18.


Any Girl London Eye



Rt. Hon Alistair Burt MP hosted the Any Girl exhibition providing Members of Parliament with the opportunity to engage with the work of Compassion through the photographs shown. At the end of the viewing MPs who represent the constituencies with the most Compassion sponsors were presented with an award on behalf of their community in gratitude for their generosity and support.


Alistair Burt


“It’s a great pleasure to be able to host this exhibition and have the opportunity to thank the consistencies and church leaders who have been particularly supportive of Compassion’s work,” shared Alistair.

Photographers Jeremy Tan and Ella Dickinson travelled to Kenya last year to meet and photograph ten girls aged 16-years-old or younger. The girls who are part of the exhibition are residents of the Mathare and Gatina slum communities in Nairobi and rural Mashuru, which sits 130 kilometres south-east of Nairobi in Kenya’s rift valley. The various effects of urban and rural poverty are a daily reality for these girls; long walks to fetch water, the pressure of Female Genital Mutilation, early marriage and the threat of sexual violence.

Despite increasing development and rapid urbanisation in Kenya, almost half of secondary school-age girls are still not enrolled in secondary education. It is estimated that 25% of these girls are married before their 18th birthday.

Speaking at the event Compassion’s CEO Justin Dowds shared, “Compassion works with just under 2 million children across 26 countries and what makes Compassion unique is our individual approach to the personal development of every child.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Any Girl is that the girls got the opportunity to direct the photographs themselves, deciding what to wear and where to stand. We wanted to represent their stories with great dignity, for each image to reveal something of that girl’s unique character and personality. In one sense, these girls are just like any other girls, anywhere in the world, but they also display an astounding strength in the face of pressure from their communities or circumstances.”

26-year-old photographer Ella shares, “It’s an honour to be able to present this work in such an historic and influential space. The girls who were part of this project would be so excited to know that their photographs and stories were being viewed by key government leaders and church members in the UK.”

Ivan Lewis MP concluded, “The empowerment of girls and women should be at the heart of development policy. Because when women and girls are given a strong and equal voice and the opportunity to fulfil their full potential, the whole country benefits.”

Any Girl was launched at the G11 space at the OXO Tower in October to mark the UN awareness day, International Day of the Girl Child. Afterwards, the set of portraits were exhibited at The Salvation Army International Headquarters for two months. The work was published in the BBC online, Marie-Claire and Elle Magazine in October.


For more information and photographs contact Jennie Taylor at

Becca Stanley

Words by Becca Stanley


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.