David Evans ’84 has one of the best jobs out there. He’s a globe-trotting photographer, and whenever we hear from him, he’s usually about to leave for or just coming back from someplace on the other side of the world. Evans recently shot in Ethiopia for the United Nations Foundation, and his work, including the above photo, is featured with an article on The Daily Beast about a U.N. program’s effort to discourage child marriage in the African country:
Tsefaye Abese, an 11-year-old in the sixth grade, lives in the village of Dimbelmesno in Amhara, a rural region of Ethiopia where girls are married, on average, at age 15, and 80 percent of all girls are married before their 18th birthday. Tsefaye, wearing a bright blue shirt and clutching her notebook, is chatty and unafraid, talking to me comfortably through a translator about how much she likes going to school, and how she wants to become a doctor to help the people in Dimbelmesno.
Tsefaye’s life is by no means easy. She spends hours each day doing household chores like cooking, tending her family’s cows, and fetching water (half an hour each way), before she can spend a few stolen minutes each night on her homework. But the fact that Tsefaye is literate and attending school—and not betrothed—marks a seismic shift from the lives of her five sisters, who are only a few years older than her, and from the lives of most young women in Amhara.