Giving a camera to the children was like giving them new eyes—to allow them to see things in a different way. Instead of being victims, they became actors again. Not only have some of the children shown a real passion for photography but they have also developed the capacity to transform their everyday life into something more interesting, worth living.

In August 2014, Magnum photographer Michael Christopher Brown travelled to the refugee camp in Za'atari, Jordan and taught a group of Syrian refugee teenagers how to take photographs using an iPhone. These photographs document the four-day assignment that the teenagers undertook to tell their personal story of life in the camp.

There are two multi-activity centers in Za'atari refugee camp, one for boys and one for girls. They were setup by Save the Children to provide a space for young people to engage in a wide array of activities, including fitness training, photography, art and non-formal education. Since opening over a year and a half ago, the centers have become a second home to some 2,000 teenagers a month. Not only are the centers providing the teenagers with an array of practical and life skills, they are also essential to helping these young adults rebuild their self-confidence.

The first set of photos above were taken by the group of students mentored by Michael Christopher Brown. You can read more about these young photographers in the captions. Their names have been altered to protect their identity. At the end of the slideshow, you will also find a collection of photographs by the mentor himself.

—LensCulture


Editor's Note: For more information visit the project's website or follow Save the Children on Instagram.