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The Families of Neema: Photo Essay by a Main Line Today Photographer

Photos by Tessa Marie Images

A Main Line Today staff photographer returns from her trip from Kenya with a powerful bunch of images of the Neema Project.

Thanks to the pandemic, home has taken on a whole new meaning for most of us. This certainly holds true for the women at Neema, which provides a haven for its students while providing tangible life skills that ultimately make a profound impact on the families they come home to. Under the Neema program, young Kenyan women train as certified dressmakers and tailors while also receiving medical care, counseling and other services. Many have experienced prostitution, trafficking, indentured servitude and other forms of abuse.

Resuming her annual trip after a two-year postponement due to the pandemic, Smucker divided her time between the Neema home and the families of students. “This work in Kenya represents so much to me personally and continues to be a dream come to fruition,” she says. “My goal with this imagery was to offer a glimpse into a home that may look a little different from yours or mine.”



child in doorway

neema project

stirring pot

neema project


neema project

child photography

neema project


family from neema project

neema project

photo by tessa smucker

neema project

Related: The Neema Project: Main Line Photographer Captures an Unseen Kenya