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For two weeks in early November, two Bay Area women, Cate Biggs and Nancy Farese, traveled with the international aid group Mercy Corps to examine the lives of women in rural Liberia. The two were conducting research for PhotoPhilanthropy, a non-profit venture founded by Nancy Farese to promote photography for social change. They also visited programs run by the Carter Center, Right to Play and the Liberian Women’s Sewing Collaborative.
Liberia is the only African country with a female president, but most Liberian women continue to be faced with tough challenges: grinding poverty and the legacy of the bloody civil wars of 1989-2003. Yet they remain amazingly hopeful, and work tirelessly to improve the lives of their families and communities. Cate and Nancy are working to bring these women’s stories to daughters, wives, and mothers in the US, and to build connections between women in the two countries.
A full collection of Cate and Nancy’s images and insights will be compiled in multi-media formats in 2010. More details about the trip are available on their blog, www.PhotoPhilanthropyinLiberia.wordpress.com.