@noralorek

Nora Lorek

For more of the @milayaproject and the @natgeo story: www.noralorek.com Represented by @panospictures

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/04/how-bidibidi-uganda-refugee-camp-became-city/

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Little did I know when I was sitting at 4am in late 2016, entering pictures to the international competition College Photographer of the Year. Now I’m holding the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine with our 18 pages story. Winning CPOY and being given the chance to intern at National Geographic had such a huge impact on me as a person and photographer. Not knowing how many wonderful people, experience and joy it would bring into my life, I came to DC in summer 2017, pitching a story on Bidibidi in Uganda. Back then I wasn’t even sure what the story would be about but felt that Bidibidi and its people deserved to be shown from different angle, to be seen as something more than just ’one of the world’s largest refugee camps’. I’m so grateful that @jamesbwellford and @roseleen saw a potential in it and gave me the chance to work on this. Three storys later, this assignment means such much to me and it’s an honor to be included in the Cities issue next to so many beautiful projects. In about two weeks me and @ninasabina24 will launch a Kickstarter helping the women of Bidibidi exporting their beautifully embroidered bedspreads called milaya. Stay tuned and follow the @milayaproject!

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Jesca Ropan lost her 3-year-old daughter Hellen when fleeing from South Sudan to Uganda. ”When my neighbor was killed I took my two children and started to walk towards the border. We didn’t have any clean water or food and on the second day Hellen died. I was devastated and wanted to go back but I knew I had to continue for my family.” Jesca Ropan, shown with her son Hammond Deniga, is the women’s representative for her village in Bidibidi and working as a caregiver at her children’s school. Three years ago the area containing the Bidibidi settlement was a forest in northwestern Uganda. Now it’s a makeshift home for a quarter million refugees who fled the civil war in South Sudan.

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In Uganda's Bidibidi refugee settlement, Rose Asha Sillah teaches embroidery and farming skills to about 400 women. In her workshop, they sew "milayas," traditional South Sudanese bedsheets with ornate designs. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas. Today in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. Sillah thinks the struggle is worth it. "Will we spent 10 years crying for South Sudan?" she asks. "We need to look forward." Follow  @milayaproject for more information on how to support these women. This story appears in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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Unia Ataya represents the women of Zone 5 on the refugee council, where relief workers confer with camp leaders about residents’ concerns. In South Sudan she was a social worker. “The biggest challenges I hear of,” she says, “are all connected to giving birth.” Three years ago the area containing the Bidibidi settlement was a forest in northwestern Uganda. Now it’s a makeshift home for a quarter million refugees from South Sudan. This story appears in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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Our new @natgeo story is online! Three years ago the area containing the Bidibidi settlement was a forest in northwestern Uganda. Now it’s a makeshift home for a quarter million refugees from South Sudan. Here markets become lively meeting places after dark. Kennedy Lemmy, a 22-year-old from South Sudan, sells items like bread, diapers, and soda thanks to a national policy that allows refugees to work. In Uganda, under one of the world’s most progressive policies, those who’ve fled civil war in South Sudan can live, farm, and work freely. Here, Bidibidi’s future is discussed at the highest levels of government and the international community. The goal: To build a livable city out of a refugee camp, one that might endure even if the refugees can return home someday. Check the link in my bio for the Bidibidi piece that @ninasabina24 and I worked on last year. This story appears in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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In 2012 Yassin and his family fled Damascus in Syria and to Lebanon. Two years later he left the country to get to the UK but got stuck in France for 584 days. Trying to cross the border inside trucks he finally made it to London in May 2017 and is now living and working in Cardiff. Earlier this week I was visiting Yassin in the UK. We met in the refugee camp called Jungle in Calais three years ago. Before the Jungle was dismantled in October 2016, 9106 men, women and unaccompanied children were living here. At night they were trying to get on trucks and cross the channel to the UK The rest of the time was spent on standing in lines for food or a shower, drinking tea with friends and speaking of memories from home. Thank you for sharing your time and stories with me @at3bne_8eabk

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Ahmed is one of many stateless Kuwaitis, also known as Bidoons. The government of Kuwait sees them as illegal residents, which made it impossible for him to work, study or even get medical treatment. So in 2015 he left his home and family to get to the UK. For seven months he was stuck in the French refugee camp called Jungle in Calais, trying to get on trucks, cars or trains. Like many, Ahmed couldn’t afford paying for smugglers and he and his friends got badly injured several times when trying to jump on trucks. After arriving to Swindon in the UK he had to wait for another year before he finally was granted asylum. Thanks to the Yunghi Grant I’m able to visit some of my brothers from the Jungle and see how life has changed over the past years. In this picture from last week, Ahmed is on the phone, talking to his sister in Kuwait. Thank you @ahmed_al_hamad_ for letting me visit you once again ❤️ The Jungle was a refugee camp in the vicinity of Calais, France. According to Help Refugees 9106 men, women and unaccompanied children were living in mud, tents or temporary shelters they’d build themselves and decorate as best as possible. They all had the same goal: to enter the UK. In October 2016 the eviction of the Jungle started and after three weeks the camp was demolished.

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#natgeo100contest Today we’re celebrating that @natgeo hit 100 million followers! This photo contest is for all of you who always wanted to see your picture on @natgeo. Post your most Nat Geo-inspired photo to your feed using the hashtag  #natgeo100contest. The top 10 photos will be posted on @natgeo and one grand-prize winner will win a Nat Geo photo safari trip to Tanzania. Good luck! Summer 2017 I was an intern at @natgeo, finally out on assignment and standing in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, surrounded by children eager to show me their toys made out of clay. One of them was the 8-years-old Julius Caesar who made this wonderful phone. He got a print of the phone picture later that summer but I wish I could show him how many people have been able to see it on the @natgeo account and in the stories they published from Bidibidi. I’m sure he’d be glad and proud to see how many people he reminded of their childhood.

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Follow the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers for their handmade pillowcases, bedspreads & wall hangings. Cattle are key to the culture and economy of South Sudan: they’re used as currency, wedding dowries, peace offerings, and status symbols. This milaya, made by 20-year-old Nyabol Riek, shows the “cattle of kings” – a traditional Ankole-Watusi cow. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas—ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally.
Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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Follow the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers for their handmade pillowcases, bedspreads & wall hangings. Viola Kide was in Juba when war broke out. She began walking, only stopping two weeks later when she reached the border with Uganda. She still doesn’t know whether her mother, father, and brother managed to escape. Framed by her aunt, Elisabeth, and cousin, Joyce, Viola stands in front of her milaya in Bidibidi. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas—ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally.
Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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Soon, we’ll launch a Kickstarter for the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to buy hand-embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings. Lea Kadi, 67, can often be found sitting selling coffee in the shadow of her house. In South Sudan, she worked as a midwife for 35 years. Now, with a handful of customers in the neighborhood, she makes less than one dollar a week. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas—ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally.
Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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Soon, we’ll launch a Kickstarter for the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to buy hand-embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings. Life was good in South Sudan for cousins Margret and Silvia. Margret’s dad was a schools’ inspector and Silvia’s farmed and preached. Now, their parents weigh whether to go back to a country where life is dangerous but they can make a living, or stay in the safety of the camp with nothing to do. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas - ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally. Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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