In July of 2013, I made the trek to the Sila Region of Chad. At the time, my main objective was to document the beginning stages of World Concern’s One Village Transformed projects in 10 different villages. During a period of 3 weeks, I interviewed over 40 individuals and captured more than 4,000 photos. While in the villages, I listened to countless horrific stories of rebel attacks and displacement. I also heard stories of hope, resiliency, and a tangible eagerness to move forward and develop their communities into what they once were… and more.
One year later, in October of 2014, I had the opportunity to return to this scarcely documented and highly fascinating place. As can be rare in my line of work, I was able to reunite with people and communities. And this time I brought photos – frozen moments to serve as evidence of the ‘before’. Each photo tells a story of the major transformations that are taking place in Amkharouba, N’djamena, Harako, Tessou, Karona, Maramara, and Amkereribe villages – the ‘after’ and what is yet to come!
While in Chad, I was surprised to find that I barely recognized any of the villages. This was due in part to the recent rainy season, bringing with it bountiful crops and lush surroundings. It was also due to the fact that these villages are developing! Many now have clean water, schools, and better constructed homes. People look cleaner and are visibly more healthy.
Take a look at the following photos and see if you can see a difference from my photos taken over a year ago. Hopefully, you also don’t recognize these villages.
34-year-old Mademi tends to his improved harvest. “We have been learning about better planting practices and how to transplant seedlings,” he shared. // Raibandala Village, Chad
“After returning from the IDP camps, we had to start a new life, but now it’s going well.”
“I hope to use the money I borrow from my World Concern women’s farming group to one day pay for my children’s school.” – Kouboura Mahamat
This is hospitality. // Ambarto Village, Chad
“During the war the rebels came and took all of our belongings. Because we have no clean water, our village is developing very slowly. But, we are thankful for new farming trainings from World Concern. I farm 6 acres: 2 acres for my children, 2 acres for feeding, and 2 for trade.” Mahamat Adam // Kouraii Bechir Village, Chad
WIth the help of World Concern, Mahamat and his farming group were able to pay for a few horses.
Kouraii Bechir, Chad
Time to let go a bit after a long day in the field. // Ade, Chad
Life of an aid worker. // Ade office, Chad
Beautiful Sylvie. // Ade, Chad
Home. // Ade office, Chad
When the solar power runs out… // Ade office, Chad.
Yaya and his daughter (one of his nine children). Yaya recently helped build thousands of bricks for the village’s first ever school. // Amkereribe, Chad
WATER! // Amkereribe, Chad
This group of ladies is preparing to operate Amkereribe’s new mill. Not only will this business benefit their families, but it will improve the village as a whole.
We meet again! // Miriam Souleman, Amkereribe, Chad
Ready for school! // Amkereribe, Chad
Momma lovin’. // Amkharouba, Chad
Pumping water from the new well at dusk. // Amkharouba, Chad
Guess which water is from the new well and which is from the wadi?? // Amkharouba, Chad
Evening light in Goz Beida, Chad.
Harako Village is heading into their second year of school… ever. The community made all of the bricks for this building and the children already speak French!
Fixing up desks after their first year of wear and tear. School is back in session! // Harako, Chad
Remember my friend Kaltam? Updates: she has another baby and she LOVES photos. // Harako, Chad
Blacksmiths in Harako, Chad.
The best interpreter and assistant. Meet: Aime.
Welcome to Karona – the village in the hills.
Hassanie pumping glorious water from Karona’s first clean water source.
The journey to gather water. // Karona, Chad
The Chadian noonday heat is not a joke. // Karona, Chad
Fatuma shows us her home that burned in the recent fires. Due to their resiliency, and your assistance, the community of Maramara was quickly able to rebuild what was lost.
More clean water! // Maramara, Chad
Standing in front of Maramara’s FIRST school.
Meet Rose, another interpreter (and model) extraordinaire.
These straws are woven together for homes, fences, and more. They are quite practical, but also dangerous due to the region’s dry and windy seasons. // Maramara, Chad
The walk to collect clean water in a village I hardly recognized. // Tessou, Chad
Ade Abdallah was not born blind. “Some years ago, I got a very bad headache and then I started to lose my sight. It is not easy to be blind in these circumstances, but I have been able to do things like help make bricks for our future school.” I told him that his eyes are beautiful and asked to take a photo of them. He agreed. // Tessou, Chad
Rose enjoys a groundnut break. // Tessou, Chad