This month I’m sponsored by the wonderful Jumping Dog London, a fashion brand with a difference whose primary goal is making the lives of The Lost Boys better.
So let’s talk about The Lost Boys and why they are so important.
These are a group of kids who live in tunnels underneath the streets of Bucharest in abject poverty and face daily challenges that you and I can’t imagine. Where food will come from. Where warmth will come from. Can you imagine having those concerns?
The founder of Jumping Dog and photographer, Joost Vandebrug, spent 5 years with these boys, documenting their lives and setting up the ‘CINCI LEI Project’ which has helped these children to turn their lives around. The gorgeous brand Jumping Dog was founded in 2014 and is a brand that creates clothes that children want to wear but will help the children who need it.
Joost followed four boys, Nicu, Costel, Stefan and Liviu, who had been living on the streets from a very young age. At the time they weren’t named The Lost Boys, rather this became their name because Joost called them so. Their stories are all equally emotive, but none of them are unusual, which is as tragic as it is infuriating. Despite being guided by Bruce, who is a first generation street child, acting as a guardian to the boys in many ways to try and help them seek their sanctuary on the streets, the boys have little to no aid or influence from adults. Isn’t that heartbreaking? One image that really stuck with me is a group of adults glaring at the children from the bus stop… wouldn’t you want to help them? The boys formed relationships which each other that bonded them together with a camaraderie that I truly believe can only come through such struggles, and also formed strong bonds with stray dogs who they cared for as their own, hence the name “Jumping Dog” for the brand. When the CINCI LEI project began the ideal was to build a shelter for the boys where they could lead a safer and healthier life, the chosen location was in a dog shelter, thanks to their love of dogs.
When I was sent the CINCI LEI book, a book that tells the tale of the four boys and their struggles through the photography they allowed Joost to take, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not really one for photography books, I like to sink my teeth into text to read a story, however I felt that this book really resonated with me. The images require no words to tell the coming of age tale of these young boys and their struggles, I’ve included a few in this post but I can’t recommend grabbing the book enough, not only is it for a good cause (as are the beautiful clothes) but it’s also a stunning coffee book with beautiful imagery that really resonates within.