Nora Lorek. Mary Kiden.
Nora Lorek. Mary Kiden.

Nora Lorek. Mary Kiden.

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Watching out over the golden light left by a tiny sandstorm, Mary Kiden is standing at her family’s plot in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda. 

Kiden was born in 2016, the same year that the war in South Sudan forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and refugee settlements started growing in the north of Uganda again.

In August 2017 the one millionth refugee from South Sudan entered Uganda in escape of the war. For decades of war South Sudanese have been forced back and forth between their home and Uganda. Bidibidi is now with its more than 250 000 people considered one of the worlds largest refugee settlements. 

In 2021 her mother Rose Asha Sillah, Mary Kiden and her baby sister Nyoka returned to Juba in South Sudan.

This photograph was embroidered by Charity Yangi. Charity is a participant in the Milaya Project, a non-profit working with women artisans living in Bidibidi settlement in Uganda, the world's second largest refugee camp. Vital Impacts is honored to offer fine-art reproductions of the original collaborative work. 

Nora Lorek is a German-Swedish documentary photographer focusing on migration, culture, and human rights. Nora is the co-founder of the Milaya Project, a non-profit that connects South Sudanese women in Bidibidi refugee camp with customers who want to support their traditional artform.

Follow Nora on Instagram @noralorek.

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