David Thorpe Photography

Professional Pix

Pictures for Money

Covering the Rwanda genocide changed my view of the world. I realised how utterly bloody awful life could be if you were unlucky enough to be born in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I realised (maybe not realised, more understood, felt) how lucky and privileged are most of us. We just take it for granted, as we would.

Look at these kids. In the West, they would probably be being taken to school by their mum or their dad. They'd have friends and warm bedrooms and fish fingers. Here, in a camp in Goma, they have nothing. Their parents are murdered or have died from cholera. They have just been hosed down to clean them.

I went on this job with my friend and (then) colleague Stuart White. We were camping with Oxfam people, surrounded by death. Late in the evening, we heard music. In the darkness, we made our way towards it. There was a hotel. There was a band playing and the restaurant was full of aid workers. We went in and ate a 3 course meal with wine.

It was surreal. I still find it hard to believe. Why were we eating a 3 course meal in a restaurant when a mile away people were keeling over from hunger and disease? Because we're worth it? I don't think so. Because we're lucky more like it.