Some projects are well thought, you create the project title, story board and look for your contacts to execute the project. And then there are projects that come out of your assigned assignment that end up being one of your most favorite projects. They develop into your own story projects that you keep documenting for a long period of time.


The story of Sifrash and her family is a story that I had never thought of documenting. I was sent to a health center in Maksegnit, Gondar, to document deliveries and the support provided to health centers by an organization. Sifrash was one of the mothers giving birth on the day of my assignment, but the story of her and her community quickly became a project I wanted to follow. It was a story of resilience, sisterhood, the value of being in a community, and more.


Sifrash and Mar’eshet didn’t have a steady income to raise their daughter at the time. There was already a skeleton of a shop that Mar’eshet’s family had built a long time ago, but that stayed unused in the absence of the necessary finances. With an online campaign and the family’s agreement, we successfully raised money with the contribution from my family, friends and Instagram followers to be used to build their shop. With no stores nearby, this not only helped Sifrash’s family as source of steady income, but also the community around them.


© Since 2018




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Sifrash during labor at Maksegnit Health Center, Gondor, 2018

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Ergoye, Sifrash's mother giving Sifrash support during Sifrash's back pain at Maksegnit, Gondor, 2018

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Ergoye, Sifrash’s mom, was captured here as she was waiting for Sifrash’s delivery. Ergoyee said, “Even though, I have given birth to many children, it is still stressful to see your own daughter go through the pain.” Maksegnit, Gondor

2018

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The news of Sifrash's safe delivery had Ergoye and Belta, Sifrash's mother in law kiss and hug in tears. Maksegnit, Gondor, 2018

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After 4 days of labor, Sifrash gave a natural birth to a baby girl. Maksegnit, Gondor, 2018

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First portrait of Sifrash and her baby girl. Maksegnit, Gondor, 2018

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The next morning, Sifrash went back to her home accompanied by her mother, mother in law and her neighbor ,Yekaba. Maksegnit, Gondor, 2018

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                                     Second visit:       Sifrash's baby baptism

On the eve of Sifrash's baby baptism, there was a celebration at the house. Belta, Sifrash's mother in law was the drummer and singer.

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Friends and neighbors dancing to Belta's beat.

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Friends and neighbors dancing to Belta's beat.

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Mareshet and Sifrash dancing together at the celebration.

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Family portrait after few drinks

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Baptism service at church

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Baptism service at church

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Baptism service at church

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Edilawit Mar'eshet, 2018

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Edilawit shop

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                 Third visit: Paying a visit :)

Asmeche: You have been drinking a lot. You should stop drinking. Belta: Shut up and drink.

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Yekaba invited me to her home and made me delicious roasted corn from her farm. 

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Men gather at Sifrash & Mar'eshet's house to drink Areqi - a local spirit. Sifrash & Mar'eshet sell a minimum of 10 liters of Areqi a day. 

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Birtukan shouts a melodic warning to chase off the birds that come to the field to attack the crops.

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