I feel very privileged to be the photographer for ORBIS Ireland and this year's trip to Ethiopia for the Great Ethiopian Run was an amazing experience. After a last minute change of plan we were unable to take part with the other 35,000 people who ran the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa so we headed south on landing and spent four full days having a look at the project's that ORBIS Ireland have set up.
ORBIS Ireland is a charity working to eliminate preventable blindness and restore sight to rural villagers in the poorest regions of southern Ethiopia by 2015. Over a third of children in Ethiopia are affected by trachoma, a blinding, yet completely preventable eye disease. If left untreated this slowly progressive and painful disease robs its victims of their sight, their childhoods and ultimately their lives.
It never ceases to amaze me how happy everyone is given how little they seem to have and it is a timely reality check in the lead up to Christmas. A run was organised on very short notice in Arba Minch and the ORBIS participants ran with around 200 locals for a great personal experience. I hope the images below give you a little insight into Ethiopia and the amazing and beautiful people that live there. If you would like to see all the images from the trip please follow this link Ethiopia 2013
I'm Mel and I'm a freelance photographer based in Dublin. I photograph all sorts of events throughout the country and further afield with a professional yet relaxed style.