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The Forgotten Children of Ethiopia
Eckerd senior Bradley Ennis '10 accompanied Eckerd's Director of Service-Learning Brian MacHarg and a January 2010 Winter Term group to Ethiopia and Rwanda to volunteer at the Mekele School for the Blind in Mekele, Ethiopia, and study issues of social justice in both countries. While there, Bradley took thousands of photos and produced this stunning multimedia piece. Bradley's work from this trip as well as other images from other African countries will be on display alongside the work of Eckerd alumna Kristin Harrison '01 at The Studio@620 from March 12-27.
During his freshman year, Bradley traveled to Ghana in January 2007 on another Winter Term service-learning course led by Eckerd Professor Olivier Debure. The 15-member student group assisted the village of Tafi Atome in the Volta Region of Ghana with the financing and construction of latrines. Bradley discovered his passion for photography as a high school senior in Viterbo, Italy. A Visual Arts senior at Eckerd College, Bradley continues to be inspired by his travels to exotic locales, including Buenos Aires, Bhutan and Ghana. Stateside, Bradley has apprenticed with environmental photojournalist Carlton Ward to capture scenes from central Florida's ranchlands.
Bradley's work during Winter Term was recently featured on the St. Petersburg Time's "All Eyes" photo blog:
Why did you go to Ethiopia & Rwanda and how long were you there? What area(s) were you in?
Over the past several years, I have built my relationship with professors, staff and employees at Eckerd College where I am in my final months as a senior. Through these relationships, I began to cover and photograph several events and projects on campus. When I became aware of the Eckerd College Africa Initiative, I immediately became interested in joining one of the winter term trips to Africa. As a photojournalist, I was especially drawn to a service trip where Eckerd Students were working with blind students at the Mekele School for the Blind in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The Mekele Boarding School for the Blind is one of three blind institutions in Ethiopia and houses 90 students that live on a government salary of less that $23 per month per student. In the two weeks that I spent in Ethiopia, I focused my work on the trying lives of these young, blind students. For the last weeks of the winter term the Eckerd Students went to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, where they worked in a newly built school for young women. I accompanied Eckerd Students as they repainted the Akilah Institute for Women and traveled to the countryside and southern Nyungwe jungle.