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Pictures of Hope

Pictures of Hope

"I was a lab technician in South Sudan, but here there is no work. If you don’t keep busy you are idle. It’s better to keep busy on my garden. I’m growing aubergines, tomatoes, okra, onion and more."

Georgeas shows off his clean hands after taking part in a WASH club activity at a school in Bidibidi camp in Uganda – the largest refugees settlement in the world.

Children collect clean water to drink and wash with as they arrive in the camp.

Sarah is chair of a craft group which Oxfam helped to set-up in Bidibidi. The women socialise while making crafts, jewellery and reusable sanitary towels which are then sold at a local market.

Sarah with some of the jewellery she has made.

Ezibon, a community leader in Bidibidi camp: "We are all human beings, it is not easy being a human being. We have to love one another."

Beatrice is a widow at 25. She lives with her 4 children in Bidibidi: "I constructed my new latrine myself with tools Oxfam gave me and it’s clean everyday so the children can use it safely".

Amina fled to Uganda with her children. On her way, she was separated from 2 of them. They’ve since been reunited and she now works for Oxfam as a hygiene promoter.

Martin was trained by Oxfam to cut hair. He has opened a small barber business with 5 others in Bidibidi camp – the Highland Plaza Saloon also offers solar powered phone charging.

Photographer Kieran Doherty travelled to Uganda with Oxfam to show how lives are changing thanks to supporters like you. We'll use his photos to raise more funds and help more people. Here, Kieran reflects on the progress he saw.

One of the most powerful things for me on this trip was seeing the arrival of refugees at the settlement where people come to register. This was maybe the first time people had experienced being safe since they had left South Sudan. There was hope in their eyes, especially in the eyes of the kids we met.

Any situation that you're in, if it doesn't affect you emotionally, I think there's something wrong. The trick is to not let your emotions get the better of you.

I always try to find hope when I'm taking photos. I found that Oxfam is giving people this hope that there is a better future. They're not saying everything's going to be fine tomorrow or the next day or next week, but what they are doing is sowing the seeds of hope that will eventually flourish.

We met one lady called Sarah (pictured) who has definitely found a sense of purpose. She was a jeweller in South Sudan, and Oxfam was investing in materials and training - just giving people the step up they need to get their businesses going again. She made these beautiful necklaces and I bought some for my daughters. As I was getting back in the Oxfam truck, I saw her go straight to the little stall and use that money to buy drinks for her kids. I thought, 'There you go, that's a perfect example of what Oxfam wants to build here'.

Another refugee, David (pictured), had built an amazing vegetable garden. Oxfam is providing water there, and it was incredible - he had every vegetable you could imagine somewhere on his plot. Uganda has tried to make people feel welcome and is allowing them to trade and build a business. David was just one example of someone who's decided to make the most of the opportunity he's been given.

One girl approached me and asked if we could help her get back to school. It hits you like a steam train. If there's one motivation to do something, it's to make sure these kids can get back into school and can continue their education. That's really what will give them their future, and they can't be denied that.

Why people are fleeing to Uganda

  • 3 million people have been forced from homes in South Sudan by brutal conflict.
  • Nearly 5 million face extreme hunger.
  • Oxfam is providing food, water and essential hygiene items, and helping people earn a living.