A few weeks back I travelled to Missoula, Montana to spend aÂ week with my dear friends Abi & Christopher and celebrate with them at their wedding. The day after I gotÂ in we took a trip up the mountain to the spot whereÂ these two were going to say their vows, a beautiful little hike into a quiet little spot. I am so thankful for these two and feel so honored to have been able to be there on their wedding day -- I love you guys and I am missing you dearly.
On my first full day in Sweden, Isak and Clara wanted to take me on a little adventure and we turned our adventure into a little engagement session - Enjoy.
The reason we were connected with Seeds of Africa is the same reason why this organization has this wonderful Micro-Finance Project for the mothers- and this reason is the lovely Maggie Sands. I met Maggie a little over a Â year ago on a shoot and while working together here and there I was able to learn more about Seeds and what they do not only for the children but also for the parents. Â To start they offer an adult literacy program that offers the parents the opportunity to upgrade their level in reading, writing and financial literacy, acting as a tool for personal empowerment and a means to reach their full potential as parents, community members and employees. After that they offer a Three Day Entrepreneurship Seminar, and in November of 2012, twenty-three mothers participated. The seminar focuses on topics such as separating money between business and household, reinvesting profit, maintaining records, thinking proactively about new markets and a how-to in writing a business plan. If both programs are completed then the women are eligible for the Micro-Finance Project which allows the women to create a business through a Micro Credit of about 2,000 birr per person (2.000 birr is about 105USD). This opportunity allows mothers to work independently, train in a field to increase household income, and moving away from the traditional aid model, a shift takes place allowing mothers to support themselves and their families. So after Luke and I would teach during the week, on the weekends we would go out into the community to meet some of the business owners. On the first Saturday we went to visit Martha and Banchiayahu's mother who has a successful business selling injera, which is a traditional flatbread made out of teff flour and served with just about every meal in Ethiopia. While we were there we learned about her business and she talked to us about how big of an impact Seeds has been for her and her family. She told us that since she has opened her business she has made a wooden box and every day she puts a percentage of her earnings in the box, she plans to open after she has paid off her loan to Seeds.
As most of you know I have just returned home from just shy of a month long trip to Ethiopia where my boyfriend, Luke and I spent the majority of our time working with Seeds of Africa , teaching at the Take Root Center (See blog about my teaching here). Along with teaching the Seeds I was asked to document the TRC, staff and the community, so I have many photographs and stories to share -so for the next several weeks, Mondays will be 'Ethiopia Day' - I will be posting my photographs and telling my stories from our travels so be sure to check out my blogs on Mondays!
Today the following images are from our time out in the playground with the kids, everyday between classes and after classes were done, Luke and I would get to jumprope, play football and I would usually get my hair done (no photo proof of this).
For more information as to what Seeds of Africa does please visit their website here
For the last few weeks I have been spending my days in Adama, Ethiopia teaching and photographing for Seeds of AfricaÂ , a nonprofit educational organization that runs an after-school program that includes academic projects, cultural enrichment, the arts, ethics, sports and student health education. In addition, students are provided with nutrition, medical services, clothing and school supplies. I encourage all of you to click to the link for Seeds of Africa to learn more. My boyfriend, Luke and I were asked to come and teach art at the Take-Rook Center , Luke did an amazing music project with the kids, together we made a series of videos and I taught photography thanks to a handful of my friends who donated their digital cameras (I showed up to the center with 10 great point&shoot digital cameras that I was able to leave there for the kids to use!). For the next few weeks my blog posts will be filled with many of the photographs from my time at the Take-Root Center along with my students work. Stay tuned, and enjoy.