Monday, November 17, 2014

Visiting Refugees from South Sudan

Recently I visited two refugee settlements in Northern Uganda to report a story - Adjumani and Arua's Rhino Camp. This shot is from Adjumani's Ayilo settlement camp in North Uganda. Hundreds of thousands of refugees fled from South Sudan -- the world's youngest nation (formed in July 2011) -- after violence erupted in Dec 2013 and early 2014. Around 60,000 live in the Adjumani settlement which is unlike a traditional refugee camp in that they live on land donated by nationals (Ugandans) and have land to grow crops and build temporary homes. All photos Copyright (c) 2014 Wendee Nicole

Young girls from the Ayilo settlement.
Big smile!
Love this shot of this young refugee boy.
I turned around as we were walking and a line of boys were following!
Boys will be boys!
Getting water from a tap stand. The yellow plastic jugs are called "jerry cans" and they are what everyone in Uganda uses to collect water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
Me and some of the sweet refugee children at Adjumani.
A "tippy tap" is a contraption made for making it easier for people to wash their hands!
The Baratuku settlement camp is in a beautiful spot.
A colorful lizard on the rocks
The River Nile from Baratuku
This boy was perched on a boat on the River Nile, which we crossed by ferry going from Arua's Rhino Camp (pics below) to Adjumani.
After he jumped in! 
The sunset was beautiful over the Nile.
When I arrived, the first place we visited was actually "Rhino Camp" near Arua. There are no rhinos anymore, they all went extinct! Here they were celebrating Global Handwashing Day at one of the "child friendly spaces" with songs, dance, and a march.
Girls performing a song about the importance of washing hands to change their lives for the better.
Kids checking out the posters.
Kids watching the performance.
Breastfeeding is encouraged in women for healthy children!
The boys seemed more "worldly" than the kids in my area of Uganda. They all made hand signs when I'd photograph them. I got them singing songs in their local language for me right away! It was fun. I got some cool videos.
More of the refugee kids making signs for the pictures.
This woman is so picturesque! She and the boys played drums. It was a really wonderful week, and Oxfam, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) & the Uganda Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have done a lot for these refugees since the chaotic beginning early this year. It hasn't received a lot of media attention in the U.S. but it was a major humanitarian crisis, which still hasn't stemmed in South Sudan.