In Bangladesh, less than 31% of women have a secondary school education and around 45% are illiterate.
I first met Monita in 2017 whilst I was living in Northern Bangladesh as a community worker. Due to Monita being so kind and welcoming we became fast friends. We travelled around rural communities delivering health and social workshops. We created the workshops together whilst Monita also taught me Bangla so we could be as effective team as possible.
Monita and I delivering a workshop on women’s health
Since I left Bangladesh Monita has carried on this great work and continues to work as a school tutor to support her mother and younger siblings. Monita has recently passed all her exams and has applied to university to become a nurse. But this costs money that she does not have.
Monita leading a workshop on her own after I left Bangladesh
So…I will be walking 800km along the Camino De Santiago from 21st August to 25th September 2019 to raise money for Monita’s Nursing Degree. The degree costs around £1500 and any money raised above this target will go towards food and shelter for her mother and younger siblings who are dependent on Monita. If you want to help, no matter how big or small, please follow this link https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-monita-become-a-nurse-for-her-community
Monita demonstrating how to do CPR
I have now been studying for my Masters in Photography for over a month- and I can’t believe how quick its gone! So I thought I’d share with you some of the work I have produced so far, starting with the very task: portraits.
I chose the Barbican as the backdrop as its one of my favourite places in the whole of London. It was an incredibly overcast day so the lack of light made it challenging.
I had to select 5 and these were my picks..
I’m currently based in Bangladesh as part of a team of community workers. Follow me over on Instagram (@madisonbeachphotos) and here on this blog to keep updated with the ups and downs of living in such a beautiful yet challenging country..
Growing up I never thought paradise could be found at school; as much I value education hugely I spent most of my days at school waiting for the bell to ring to signal it was the end of the day.
But here in Bangladesh I had the privilege of being invited to visit a prestigious boarding school on the edge of the Indian border. Usually outsiders are never allowed in- your child has to go to the school for you to be allowed a visitors pass. But one of my Bangladeshi team members parents run the school and invited us to visit.
It was an hour long rickshaw journey and short boat trip to reach the walled gardens of the school. Students take turns and great pride in guarding the entrance. We were let in by a boy no older than 12.
We then had a guided tour around the grounds. It was a beauty I have never seen before, I felt like I was on a film set of a children’s film. Students in uniform were enjoying the sun and playing games around the campus. They have 700 students who live and study on sight surrounded by palm tree’s and rivers. They also have their own snack shop, clinic and guests houses.
We were the invited in for snacks at the headmasters living quarters. It reminded me of holiday homes in Spain. It is the most luxury I have seen since coming to Bangladesh two months ago, but the headmaster was nothing but welcoming and humble.
Near the school we had heard there are beautiful, cinematic clay hills. So on the way back we took a detour- and boy was it worth it.
The hills go on for miles creating another film set-like landscape. Group photos were a plenty as we tried not to fall in. I have never seen colours like it; pink clay, orange dust and teal water.
As we stood at the top of the hills, to the South we could look across Bangladesh’s green fields and forests while to the north we could see hundreds of mountains stretching into India. A day I won’t ever forget.
In July, at the age of 20, I finished university after studying photography for the last 3 years. Today I had the chance to visit the site that acted as the background for the project that sparked my passion for the experimental nature of photography. Back in 2013 I chose Tide Mills,East Sussex, as the location for the last photography project I would undertake at 6th form college, where I first studied photography. Here are a mixture of photos from today and my fire project:
Some more images from my A-Level project: