Brave Kids 2018 Face

This year's cover for Brave Kids Project is of a seven-year-old girl named Yama, from Tibet. The portrait of little Yama is 20 years old now. The photograph was taken on the way to Jokhang, one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Tibetan Buddhists.

It is a hugely important place in the history and culture of Tibet - and it recently burned.

This dramatic event is a sad reflection of what has been happening to local culture for years. Yama was seven years old in this photo. For a few weeks, she carried her six-month-old sister in her little arms: through mountain ranges and serpentines, through sun and rain.

All this effort to make a pilgrimage with her family to a sacred place that recently went up in flames. This photo has a very symbolic and unique significance, in a time when many cultures disappear.

We do not know what Yama’s life is like today. Does she still speak her mother tongue? Does she continue to practise her traditions with her family? Is she still making pilgrimages and developing her spirituality?

Yama's picture also pushes us to ask the bigger question: what happened to all those children after the Brave Kids? Will this experience help them change their fate? Was it a benefit for their future lives? Were they able to take advantage of this experience?

It would be wonderful to know.

Photo: Phil Borges