25 Powerful Children Portraits


Today is the Blog Action Day1. Today bloggers all across the globe are uniting and publishing posts related to poverty. We want to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause. Smashing Magazine strongly believes that together we can make a difference by informing people about the problem and donating money to charitable organizations.

We considered various options for this post: we could showcase designs or posters related to poverty, or we could scour the Web for poverty-related icons and wallpapers. But we decided to do something different. We decided to prove that each of us can help make poverty history.

Blog Action Day 20082

For this purpose we collected beautiful portraits of children who lived in poverty but are now supported by charitable organizations. These photos were shot by photographers, photojournalists and organizations who have tried to improve the conditions of children in poor countries. The money these organizations raised gave these children hope, a future, something to rely on and something to believe in. There are millions of children out there who need your help. And you can help them by donating to the Global Fund3 and donating to Kiva4.

Poverty: Let’s Make A Difference! Link

I’ll be there to protect you…5
Street children from Brazil, the photo is taken by the Children At Risk Foundation CARF Brazil35322996.

Children in Poverty7

There are many who seek the stars8
A street child from Brazil, the photo is taken by the Children At Risk Foundation CARF Brazil35322996.

Children in Poverty10

Being There11
Child in poverty, san francisco, 6/26/07.

Children in Poverty12

Blonde Poverty13
“This gleaming young girl from the poorest of favelas (shanties) in our region, captured by my lens during our Beija-Flor na Comunidade (Hummingbird in the Community) programme there a few weeks ago, is a prime example of beautiful Brazilian diversity.”

Children in Poverty14

“Whilst our governing politicians fight to defend their heavily criticized wage increases of more than 90%, Christmas and every other day of the year is a plight for survival for families such as this one in Brazil, where each day is merely just another one in a long line of monotonous days and where expectations for positive social change are few and far between. ”

Children in Poverty16


Children in Poverty18

Photos are shot by Jake LeBoeuf.

Children in Poverty20

I have dreams…21
“This boy seemed a bit different from the others. He seemed to think and have some sort of individuality. He will have tough odds to face to keep them as he grows. Poverty, lack of good education, religious leaders drumming up paranoia and above all a world suspicious of him just because he is a Muslim.” This photo is taken by Sharad Gupta22.

Children in Poverty23

A boy24

Children in Poverty25

…and they call us the future?26
“Whilst our governing politicians fight to defend their heavily criticized wage increases of more than 90%, Christmas and every other day of the year is a plight for survival for families such as this one in Brazil, where each day is merely just another one in a long line of monotonous days and where expectations for positive social change are few and far between. ”

Children in Poverty27

Yes, that’s me!28. A street child from Brazil, the photo is taken by the Children At Risk Foundation CARF Brazil35322996.

Children in Poverty30

Bianca31. A street child from Brazil, the photo is taken by the Children At Risk Foundation CARF Brazil35322996.

Children in Poverty33

A street child from Brazil, the photo is taken by the Children At Risk Foundation CARF Brazil35322996.

Children in Poverty36

Children in Poverty37

Through the eyes of terror…38
“Tamira’s cousin, Emily, is one of many family members in this extremely large family group, who live secluded in the woods surrounding Sítio Joaninha. Their little, invaded small-holding is not what it used to be when grandpa was alive and managed to keep everything and everyone well-organized.”

Children in Poverty39

Port area40
“these kids, who lived in a tattered shanty at a squatters area in manila, had to wait anxiously for their mother as she tried to make a meager living washing clothes.” The photo is taken by Roger Alcantara41.

Children in Poverty42

For the sake of love?43
“Almost one third of pregnant women in Brazil are pre-adolescent or adolescent (10-19 years old); more than 54% of Brazilian girls who had left school became pregnant at least once.”

Children in Poverty44

“Student returning home from school. Kigali, Rwanda. Afrika. June, 2005.”

Children in Poverty46

Smile sis!47

Children in Poverty48

Sichuan, Khampa nomads49
This girl was found between Litang and Xiangcheng in China.

Children in Poverty50

Reach for a star51

Children in Poverty52


Children in Poverty54

“This is a child from New Light, an NGO located in Kolkata, India. The mission of New Light56 is to promote gender equality through education and life-skill training, thereby reduce harm caused by violence and abuse to women and young children.”

Children in Poverty57

The Unbearable Burden of Poverty58
“In the land of infinite need, it’s the children who suffer the most… Always the children… ” The photo is taken by Cameron MacMaster59.

Children in Poverty60

Last Click Link

An eye on the community…61

Children in Poverty62

Brazilians!!! Think about us…63

Children in Poverty64

How can you help? Link

Make a difference right now! Speak with the people you know and people you don’t know, promote the day, use some post ideas65 for your blog and donate to the Global Fund66 and Kiva67. Thank you.

Make the difference!68

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://blogactionday.org/
  2. 2 http://blogactionday.org
  3. 3 http://www.change.org/nonprofits/projects/index/171480
  4. 4 http://www.kiva.org/community/viewTeam?team_id=941
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/1256519839
  6. 6 http://www.carfweb.net/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/1256519839
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/87223820/
  9. 9 http://www.carfweb.net/
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/87223820/
  11. 11 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoneth/636977915/
  12. 12 http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoneth/636977915/
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/229632970
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/229632970
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/babarharoon/269530195/
  16. 16 http://www.flickr.com/photos/babarharoon/269530195/
  17. 17 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/113945012/
  18. 18 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/113945012/
  19. 19 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Photojournalism/92468
  20. 20 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Photojournalism/92468
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharad_gupta/2667849397/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/people/sharad_gupta/
  23. 23 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharad_gupta/2667849397/
  24. 24 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/246590598
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/246590598
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/335463126/
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/335463126/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/534904330
  29. 29 http://www.carfweb.net/
  30. 30 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/534904330
  31. 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/1895664056
  32. 32 http://www.carfweb.net/
  33. 33 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/1895664056
  34. 34 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/362006522
  35. 35 http://www.carfweb.net/
  36. 36 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/362006522
  37. 37 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/127878074
  38. 38 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/458927152/in/set-72157594253443546/
  39. 39 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/458927152/in/set-72157594253443546/
  40. 40 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roger_alcantara/101934984/
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/people/roger_alcantara/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roger_alcantara/101934984/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/421459494
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/421459494
  45. 45 http://www.flickr.com/photos/camera_rwanda/75779700/
  46. 46 http://www.flickr.com/photos/camera_rwanda/75779700/
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/249881813/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/249881813/
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/devriese/2236586842/
  50. 50 http://www.flickr.com/photos/devriese/2236586842/
  51. 51 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/84573928/in/photostream
  52. 52 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/84573928/in/photostream
  53. 53 http://www.flickr.com/photos/switi/456763675/
  54. 54 http://www.flickr.com/photos/switi/456763675/
  55. 55 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasfotosdealberto/452141678/
  56. 56 http://www.uddami.org
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasfotosdealberto/452141678/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/40816499@N00/2657821066/
  59. 59 http://www.flickr.com/people/40816499@N00/
  60. 60 http://www.flickr.com/photos/40816499@N00/2657821066/
  61. 61 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/441467338
  62. 62 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/441467338
  63. 63 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/281683291/
  64. 64 http://www.flickr.com/photos/beija-flor/281683291/
  65. 65 http://site.blogactionday.org/poverty/fight-poverty/
  66. 66 http://www.change.org/nonprofits/projects/index/171480
  67. 67 http://www.kiva.org/community/viewTeam?team_id=941
  68. 68 http://www.change.org/nonprofits/projects/index/171480

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Very interesting article. Thanks smashing magazine for keep our eyes wild open

  2. 2

    Wow! Gorgeous images! Those faces are the world. Thank you.

  3. 3

    Wow… Very nice post!

  4. 4

    Hopefully, this day will inspire people to seek out ways they can help – in their own neighborhoods, food shelters, food banks, churches, and community centers – because fighting the war against poverty is not in Iraq or Africa or Afghanistan but everywhere.

  5. 5

    Powerful photos! Inspiring to see the tremendous support from across the world to address poverty.

  6. 6

    It is far away and at home. Thank you for this post and reminding us once again to open our eyes.

  7. 7

    Now poverty is exhibited! What a shame!
    For decades the charity business has proven it is unable to attack poverty. It is just used to tame the guilt of rich people.

  8. 8

    Well what is really shame is bad guys who really use those poor kids in big cities and make them ask people for money and food all the day long in traffic lights and on the doors of shopping malls then collect this money from them this really break my heart.

  9. 9

    this blog is becoming more and more like “The BIG Picture”…

    any “web” article in the future?

  10. 10

    very powerful movement

    thank you

  11. 11

    If we take a look around, open our eyes and simply do an effort…
    We should be different .. we should make the difference! It’s up to us all people!
    Beautiful article! Another great published item this site shares with the world!


  12. 12

    very very touching ..

  13. 13

    Christianity = the answer to world poverty. Hard work, caring for the needy–Christians are the most industrious group in America, and also the most generous.

    Atheism = suppression of Christianity, and thus causing world poverty.

    The answer is simple.

  14. 14

    Beautiful photos! Even as web developers, it is good to remember that there are so many in this world who need help. Good design takes heart and emotion as well as good design sense and technical knowledge.

    And to JD – Your statements are ridiculously flawed and I find it deplorable that you would use a forum such as this for religious proselytism.

  15. 15

    Great post as usual — thanks for sharing such excellent portraits.

    I thought I would note that SOS Children’s Villages, a non-profit that works with orphans worldwide, is holding a video contest to choose a video that best represent their work. I entered the contest with my roommate — if you go to http://www.sos-usa.org/vote you can view all of the videos and vote on your favorite. Ours is called “Help Support SOS Children’s Villages” and is by GoodHella Productions.

    Have a good day —

  16. 16

    JD, that doesn’t even begin to make sense.

  17. 17

    Very nice photos !
    Sebastião Salgado is very strong in this discipline.
    It is one of the best photographers to my taste.

  18. 18

    While worldwide governments spend trillions of dollars to save greedy bankers, children are starving and dying. This is the world we live.

  19. 19

    I think the most powerful (and sad) children portrait was taken in the 1985’s armero tragedy. Omayra Sánchez finally died few days after the photo. :(

  20. 20

    Wow! Beautiful and it breaks my heart to see these portraits at the same time.

  21. 21

    It makes us think if we should leave our laptops and go there to help.

  22. 22

    wow so sad yet so beautiful!!!!!!

  23. 23

    Sebastião Salgado is a master of the masters, with no comparision with anothers artists, like Bresson. Poverty is a dam side of equation of a world with big and serious problems and this photos shows its faces. Sorry my english friends, i’m tired. Peace.

  24. 24

    Great job men, approved!

  25. 25
  26. 26

    Good post. However, why only draw attention to causes like this on special days? Earth Day, Refugee Day, Water Day, etc. I say pay forward EVERY DAY what you believe in.

    Smashing Magazine: I challenge you, as a leader in your niche, to lead by example and place some non-profit links on your site … pehaps in a tasteful and unobtrusive manner on your site (like in your footer). :-)

    It does nothing to devalue your offering and I’m sure the non-profits you dig will value your support 365 days a year.

    Thanks for your consideration.



  27. 27

    Good post with more powerful stories than powerful pictures.

    I think there’s defiantly a place for this kind of article on teh Smasha but those adding their own comments please keep your religious views to yourself.

    This isn’t a forum to discuss religion and your comments are offensive.

  28. 28


    October 15, 2008 4:32 pm

    Hope everyone who has Many Money can help them and reduce the poverty percentage.


  29. 29

    It is so easy to get caught up in our own “financial crisis” yet these children are living in poverty. Thank you for creating awareness, and letting us all take a step back and realize maybe we do not have it so bad. These children are beautiful, even after going through so much at such young ages.

  30. 30

    Amazing photos and outstanding work. Stay encouraged it really does help. I pray for the children and their families. I know I can do more to help and I will. Thank you.

  31. 31

    I was spellbound seeing these photos…the words are also equally powerful…amazing…thanks to Smashing magazine for this post!

    If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.

  32. 32

    Give them a chance not charity – Baba Amte

    Work builds, charity destroys – Baba Amte

    The Words of a Great Person who believed in not Charity, but giving opportunities to the poor & oppressed. Baba Amte was a Great Social Worker who dedicated his life to serve leprosy patients & other underpriviledged. He died on February 9th, 2008. He was a Friend of Gandhiji.

    He is a proof that people who will help us to undo poverty will go beyond GOD, Religion, Money, Power.

    I think not religion, not charity is a solution to POVERTY. But, as many BABA AMTE’s as possible to resurrect us from Poverty. To know more about him Baba Amte Life and Wisdom

  33. 33

    hmmm heart touching…
    by seeing these photos feel that we should do something for them. but we do nothing.
    if don’t do nothing don’t feel…
    we are grown this way we will be…

  34. 34

    I did mine now, just donated a couple of Euros. How about donating todays advertising to The Global Fund, Smashing?


  35. 35

    It make us all speechless.

    For we all designers and developer a virtual social network is most discussed thing but finally we must consider about our real social network.


  36. 36

    U guys always seem to blow me away. U guys are the bomb am looking forward to being a contributor to this truly inspirational site. BIG UPS GUYS

  37. 37

    Thanks for this beautiful expression of one of the biggest problems of the world.

  38. 38

    Gregory J. Smith, Children At Risk Foundation - CARF

    October 16, 2008 4:55 am

    “It is so easy to get caught up in our own “financial crisis” yet these children are living in poverty.” said in a comment above.

    As most of the images in this posting have been “borrowed” from my organization, the Children At Risk Foundation – CARF, I would appreciate that contributions of any amount be made to assist the children depicted in our images.

    As another comment stated: “By seeing these photos we feel that we should do something for them, but we do nothing.”

    So true, so very true, but………….

    ….you can all change that with a simple click, and believe me there are many changes needing to be made. We can all be the tools of change, even if it only means sharing just a little from your “financial crisis” by contributing towards an organization such as ours, striving to help children who live in constant crisis (not only financial).

    Thanks for your help!

    Gregory J. Smith
    Founder – CARF
    (and author of most of the CARF images above)

  39. 39

    Brazil have social problens just like another countrys. he gonna win this batle, for tyour childrens, for your future.

    We all have problens, but my hope are bigger then this,

  40. 40

    Excellent photography. Great high-powered lenses.

    – Nick Maceus

  41. 41

    something beautiful about the eyes of the children in every photo.

  42. 42

    Congratulations to the Smashing Magazine, for being compromised with development making this Blog Action Day. In Perú we have many organizations and people working to improve the children´s live, but its not enough. I´m sure this contribution will sensibilize many people around the world to get involved with this problematic.

  43. 43

    A Haitian friend wants to make a difference in his country. He is not rich yet he used his own money to start a school for some poor children in his town. He reasoned, “There is an ocean of need in Haiti and all I have to offer is a drop. But a drop, given in love can make a difference.” So, in 1981, Paul Romeus started the “Drop of Love” school in Limbe, Haiti. Today, thousands of children attend the main campus and rural schools in northern Haiti. He also provides free lunches for those who have nothing to eat and provides for orphans. Generous love can overcome poverty.

  44. 44

    Some of these pictures are amazing! Thanks.

  45. 45

    Valeriy Mishkorez

    October 16, 2008 9:34 pm

    I am in shock….blonde girl is so beautiful….

  46. 46

    Valeriy Mishkorez

    October 16, 2008 9:35 pm

    I am in shock….blonde girl is so beautiful….i would be happy if I had a daughter like she

  47. 47
  48. 48

    Hey JD that is one of the most narrow minded comments I’ve ever heard – but typical coming from a christian.

  49. 49

    Theme looks fine.. but it gives the impression like only poverty can represent beauty.

  50. 50

    Wonderful pictures


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