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Released in 2012, Broken: a call to restore the house of Humanity uses the art of photography and writing to breathe life and dignity back into desperate situations across the world. From life in red light districts to war-torn nations, this book redefine

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a call to restore the house of Humanity Broken: a call to restore the house of Humanity As we traveled the world, we began to recognize that most attempts to eradicate an issue fail to focus on addressing the root cause, the breakdown of the family. If we want to see an end to social injustice, we must start at the beginning. no issue begins, continues or ceases without human influence. In a world of increasing injustice, we are met with the reality that a call to restore the house of Humanity Broken YWAM | UofN | Kona Broken


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a call to restore the house of Humanity Broken © PhotogenX International, 2012 ISBN: 9780983395218 In order to protect privacy, some of the details in the stories have been modified and not all photos are representative of specific persons mentioned.


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As a team of ten photojournalists, we set out to experience the world, to immerse ourselves in the cultures and people of every inhabitable continent in hopes of having our eyes opened to the stories that go untold. After traveling to over thirty countries in fifteen months, a common theme began to cry out for our attention. Everywhere we went, we discovered that nearly all social injustice issues stem from the brokenness of the family, the brokenness of the home. In a world of much diversity, the most universal longing of the human heart is to have a place to call home: a place of safety, love, and acceptance. Never before have we seen such an increase in homelessness, prostitution, human trafficking, orphans, and domestic violence as in recent decades. Never before have we seen such a breakdown in the family unit. The very foundations of humanity, the building blocks of society, are crumbling and the result is a myriad of injustice issues that seem to only be gaining momentum. Family is the cornerstone, the origin of a healthy and functioning individual and society. If we want to see the end of social injustice, we have to start at the root - we must restore the family.


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Like a tree consisting of roots, a trunk, and branches that bear fruit, so is the nature of our human condition. The roots of humanity begin within our family structure. Our trunk is the home where we hope to find stability and our lives bear fruit according to the soil in which we are grounded. Generally, if we are rooted in infertile soil, our trunk will be weak and our fruit will be spoiled. However, if our roots are planted in nutrient rich soil, our trunks will be strong and our fruit healthy. Around the world, people are increasingly being rooted in infertile soil - in brokenness, abandonment, isolation, hatred, anger, and exploitation. Their homes are flimsy and unsafe and they end up victims to social injustice. |5


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Or·phaned a child deprived of one or usually both parents; lacking support, care or supervision


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S tumbling over the crumbled remains and stones of a fallen building in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a scene of wounded survivors in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake begins to unfold. The sick lay on dirt floors and under canopies that shield the blazing sun: a makeshift hospital that is in desperate need of supplies and medical equipment. As an increasing number of survivors arrive, the situation appears hopeless. We gravitate towards the section of tents that houses babies ranging in age from newborn to twelve months. Upon entering, we meet an elderly woman who is caring for her little granddaughter - a child without a name whom she just calls “Baby.” Orphaned | Haiti The grandmother holds the child, explaining that Baby is about four months old and lost both of her parents in the earthquake. She refuses to name her, believing that the infant will die well before her ability to speak or understand her own name. Baby is innocent, vulnerable, and nameless dismissed as already dead. We hold Baby’s tiny, precious hands, peer into her empty black eyes, and begin speaking to her about her true worth. She smirks and giggles the more we speak, those beautiful eyes beginning sparkle. Eyes that know she is worth a name and has a calling despite her situation or possibly short life a life intended to flourish. Worldwide an estimated 153 million children ranging from newborns to age ~ 17 have lost one or both parents.1 |9


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“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. Orphaned | South Africa We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” - Nelson Mandela | 11


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S anjay peers out the top window of the orphanage, waiting for a glimpse of us, anxious to play again as we round the corner of the colorful Indian street. He is living above a pastor’s house, in a single room along with ten other orphans. Bunk beds line the room with vibrant blankets and stiff mattresses. With just the clothes on their backs, these orphans live in a minimalist environment, but are provided an education and enough food each day. Sanjay’s family gave him away to the local church because they were unable to properly care for him. Leaving him abandoned, he was placed into this orphanage with others who have lost their parents or were given away as well. Although his basic needs are met, he is still without a father and mother to properly guide him into adulthood. There are times when he sits alone and the moments of his past manifest on his solemn face. He is starved for love – especially from men. Like many of the children in the world, Sanjay longs for someone to love and care for him – he longs to have real parents in his life, who will wait for him with arms wide open. Orphaned | India Approximately 130,000 children [in the American foster care system] ~ are immediately adoptable.2 | 13


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Orphaned | South Africa | 15


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Orphaned | South Africa H e is obviously sick, with thick green mucus running from his nose. Fouryear-old Brother waits in line for one of the few meals he will receive all week. He wears a heavy orange sweater and pants that do not fit, clothing that is inappropriate for the heat of the season. His tiny, bare feet are covered in dirt and it appears he has not been bathed in quite some time. Each week when he receives his plate of food, he eats it with haste, hardly stopping to breathe. He is not simply hungry, but truly starving; not only poor, but orphaned. Brother is one of approximately 122,000 children living in child-headed homes in South Africa.3 Faced with circumstances of poverty, disease, death, and abandonment, these children are left to raise themselves. Eight and nine-year-olds must provide for their younger siblings, taking on the role of not only one, but both parents. They do their best to find food, clothing, and shelter; but without the provision and protection of adults they remain some of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in the world. “The family structure that God designed is falling apart in this community and is single-handedly destroying it.” – John Shaw, Ten Thousand Homes | 17


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Orphaned | India | 19


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dis·placed to move or shift from the usual place or position, especially to force to flee a homeland


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is naked from the waist down and wears only a tattered, unbuttoned blue shirt that waves in the wind as he runs toward us in the heat of the day in Cite Soleil - one of the largest tent cities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He eagerly grabs our hands and leads us deep into the massive tent city to visit his family. Twisting and turning through the maze of tents, shacks, and scraps we arrive and enter his small and decaying home which houses his entire family. For the first time in our lives, we see what it means to live on less than a dollar a day. The orange hair and ballooned bellies of the children reflect severe malnourishment and the dangerous level of food insecurity, a result of the poverty and violence that surrounds the area. They are vulnerable, hungry, and unclean, surviving the tent city’s squalor and unyielding heat. The dehydrating temperatures cause their bodies to pour out pools of sweat while sitting in humid tents that lack any type of air conditioning, a luxury that the industrialized world takes for granted. Ansel’s mother, nearly bursting with another pregnancy, struggles to take care of six children without the help of a father. Preparing their only meal for the day, she bends over a small pot that barely holds enough rice to fully feed two or three bellies. Devastated and displaced, this family and thousands like them rely on meager rations as they attempt to reestablish a sense of home. Ansel Displaced | Haiti There are now 43.3m people forcibly displaced around the ~ world - including 27.1m internally displaced people.4 | 23


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Displaced | Haiti | 25


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Asaf owned a farm in Kabul, Afghanistan before he became a refugee. One night as his family was sleeping, a man entered their home. He grabbed their oldest daughter, placed a knife at her throat and threatened to kill her if Asaf did not give him money. Asaf handed the small amount of money he possessed to the intruder who then disappeared, leaving his daughter with a small cut on her neck. That is when Asaf knew it was time to leave Kabul, a city where constant kidnappings, murders, and bribes threaten its citizens. Asaf and his family left Kabul for Herat, the northwestern province of Afghanistan, and set up an auto parts shop there. They lived and prospered in Herat for four years until an arsonist came into the square and set the entire market on fire. Asaf watched in horror as the fire lit up the sky and completely destroyed his shop. It was time to move again. Asaf decided to leave Afghanistan for Dubai, hoping to find work and a safe place for his family. A formidable city, huge and foreign to them, Dubai turned out to be an extremely difficult place for Asaf to support his wife and four children. After three years of struggle, they decided to move once again, but this time to a European country, with similar hopes of prosperity and safety.    Asaf and his family have been living in Greece for the past two years and every day he scours the streets looking for any type of employment. With no stable work, he earns an insufficient amount to adequately meet their needs. Like many refugees, Asaf strives for a better future for himself and his family. He seeks a home where they are safe, where his children can have an education, and where he is able to provide enough for them to survive. Displaced | Greece | 27



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