Friday, October 21, 2005

This is Our World

This is Our World, originally uploaded by Samantha Casolari.

For more than 17 years the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group trying to overthrow the Ugandan government, has been attacking the north of the country, where the Acholi people live. More than a million are now displaced as a consequence of these bloody merciless attacks, this is more than 80% of the Acholi people. These forgotten lives live in conditions that to none of us could believe possible: overcrowded camps with little food, generally provided by the World Food Programs and NGOs, almost no sanitation and no other protection other than the one provided by the Ugandan Army, whose soldiers are certainly no better off and at times harass the displaced themselves. The most affected by this largely unknown war are the children. Often without a family, they are constantly at risk of being kidnapped by the rebels, trained to kill and to loot and forced to use the same brutality of their kidnappers on their own families and friends.

These are two of the many children I met in the camps around Gulu, the main town in the North. The Acholi children are incredibly nice, curious and warm, despite the tragic nightmare they had to live every day. They want to grow up and become doctors to help their people, or teacher to give others kids that chance to learn they don' t have. They asked no food, no money, no help. They just asked me to go out there and tell their story, cause they are aware nobody knows out there. And there is no doubt only few people know about this endless tragedy, its forgotten faces and their little great wishes.

I hope this can be a good way to let you know about them.... and I hope you don't forget.

Photo by Samantha Casolari, Brooklyn – New York – USA.


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