After photographer John Delaney and his wife adopted their little girl Sara, he became very aware of the prevalent poverty in her home country. “I wanted to use my photographic skills to give back to Ethiopia,” he says.

Very influenced by the peripatetic work of Irving Penn, John packed his large format film camera, complete with bellows and hood, and journeyed to Addis Ababa, where he set up an impromptu studio in the brick and metal container room used for the Training for Tomorrow program.

Immediately, he noticed a difference in how the girls posed for the pictures. When he took out his 35mm equipment, they would playfully straighten their shoulders, look straight at the camera, and smile. But once they entered the container room and sat for the portraits, each girl became more serious and contemplative in a way that captured her individuality and true beauty. And, as serendipity would have it, the girls happened to be dressed that day in the traditional clothing that represents the various regions they come from.

For a $2,500 donation to our Empowering Girls Through Code Fund Drive [], you will receive an original portrait, mounted on fine art paper and organic burlap, and with lyrics handwritten by Julian Lennon, from his beautiful song “Invisible.” For a $1,000 donation, we also have a limited selection of prints, hand signed and numbered by John Delaney himself.
—Lorraine Shea

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