PhotoIreland Festival 2013

GM Spiers, Hope & Salvation in Addis Ababa

Atrium, National Software Centre Campus, St. Michaels Drive, Mahon, Co. Cork
Opening: 7pm Thu 4 Jul
Dates: 1-31 Jul
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am to 5.30pm / Sat 12-3pm

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, perched at high altitude on a plateau below the Entoto Mountains, is officially home to 3 million people and unofficially many more.

Financially and socially, the city is one of extremes. The growing middle class frequent the glass offices, shopping malls, coffee bars (bunna bet) and pizza restaurants (a legacy of the brief Italian occupation in the 1930s) of the Bole Road, while in the outer “subcities”, like Yeka, people live in structures that are barely homes. They set up markets amongst the rubble and struggle daily to make a living. In the city centre bustling with people going about their business, or on their way to or from one the many Orthodox churches, there are countless beggars, often having sustained terrible injuries from the war with Eritrea, and street children chasing cars at every major intersection.

These pictures are intended to give a glimpse of everyday life in the city of Addis Ababa .They are dedicated to the people of Addis Ababa and in particular the children of the Kidane Meheret Home.

The Kidane Meheret Children’s Home was founded in 1933 by French nuns in a suburb of Addis Ababa and cares for around 150 children from newborn to age 16. Its mission is to provide love, care, understanding and education to children of different ages, tribes and religions who find themselves without a family.

The home is currently run by two charismatic, totally dedicated and tireless Franciscan Sisters from Malta who battle every day to meet these goals with all the obstacles and hard choices that involves.


Image credit: GM Spiers, from the series ‘Hope & Salvation in Addis Ababa’.


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