In March I was back working in Ethiopia this time with the German help-organisation called Äthiopien-Hilfe Freinsheim. Äthiopien-Hilfe Freinsheim work exclusively in Dessie in the Amhara in the north-central part of the country. Based in Dessie I worked for two weeks on a photo-consultancy project, developing insight into the local culture and many of the difficult living conditions in town. The founders of Äthiopien-Hilfe Freinsheim have a well-established relationship with the people of Dessie as they have worked in town for more than 20 years.
Traditionally Äthiopien-Hilfe Freinsheim have successfully worked with street children and are now considering expanding their projects to include support for those affected by the loss of relatives due to AIDS. The high occurrence of AIDS related deaths in the region means that both young children and the elderly are left to fend for themselves as many of the adults or "middle" generation fall victims to the disease.
Part of my photo-consultancy was to develop a portfolio that portraits this difficult reality and shows how local communities are dealing with the needs of those left behind in the moment. Working closely with local staff and partners, I walked Dessie's streets for over two weeks and visited many neighbourhoods and homes to meet the helpers and the helped.