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My Photo scholarship 2010 entry

South Africa | Monday, October 4, 2010 | 5 photos

The streets are dusty, not a tarred road in sight, no petrol pump for many kilometres. This is Nieu-Bethesda, a tiny village in the heart of the Great Karoo. A pretty village nonetheless, with a growing community of artists.

I was fortunate to visit this village and was able to interact with some of the folk living in the Coloured Township. They are poor but proud, alcoholism is rife, work is scarce and the main source of income is tourism. Some travel great distances each day to work as labourers on surrounding farms. The children are home-schooled until they reach an age when they can travel to the nearest town 56 kilometres away. At the time of my visit there was not a toy in sight.

When asked if I could photograph them there was great excitement - some of the children had never seen a "proper" camera. There were many sticky fingerprints on the lens by the time I had finished shooting!

Kasper Fredericks makes metal windmills and sells them to tourists outside Helen Martins' Owl House. This is his only source of income. There are others also selling their crafts. They are happy in spite of their hardships.

If my advanced youth is not held against me and I go on to win this opportunity, it is my hope that I can help these people by putting their village more firmly on the World map and in some way ease their situation.

I grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, went to good schools and trained as an Architectural Technician. I have travelled all over Great Britain and many places in Europe and Western Turkey. Whilst not being wealthy I consider myself to be one of the privileged few.

My hobbies are travel, photography, walking and helping animal charities.

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