Nora Lorek/ Panos Pictures

Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Uganda

Unia Ataya (51) from Yei has, since spring 2017, been the women's representative for Zone 5 in Bidibidi. In South Sudan she was a social worker for the department of gender and social development. ''Here my job is to see the challenges that women and families are facing and to forward it to people and NGOs who can help us address these issues.'' ''The biggest challenges I hear of are all connected to giving birth. Delivery in the settlement is often difficult and midwives have to take care of three women at the same time. Once the child is born the mother soon moves back home and is by now not even given clothes for the baby.'' ''It's difficult for the majority of mothers to get clothes for the children from 1-7 years old. Many don't have shoes. Also, the children need a balanced diet which is difficult during the dry season.'' ''I live here with the two children of my co-wife (who got killed in the war) and the two children of my brother in law. I also chose to take care of two orphans.'' ''My mother was here with me but she died in Koboko earlier this year.'' ''My husband is in Juba, he chose to stay there since I was in Yei when the war started.'' ''None of us has a job at the moment. Even though I applied for several jobs her in the settlement. I was lucky to get small jobs as a translator for projects in Bidibidi but they usually only last for a couple of days.'' About leaving South Sudan in 2016: ''A brother of our family died in 2016 and we went to Juba to attend the funeral. That evening we heard gunshots and decided to leave to Yei straight away. When we arrived back home we heard that the war had just begun.'' ''I called my husband but since we didn't have enough money we chose to stay. At night we heard gunshots and in the morning we saw the dead bodies lying on the streets.'' ''We heard more gunshots and I got afraid and decided to leave wit the children.'' ''I collected some saucepans, two bedsheets and hired a bicycle for 2000 South Sudanese pounds so we could take all the children to Busia border. We left everything. But thank god we reached to the camp.'' ''I hope I'll continue working in South Sudan once peace comes. There's a lot of work for us social workers. Here I'm doing the same job but itâs unpaid.'' ''I still have a dream of self reliance. We women have to work hard to create a capital and start businesses to become independent.''

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Object Name
Nora Lorek/ Panos Pictures
Bidibidi Refugee Settlement
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3337 x 5000 pixels
28.25 x 42.33 cm (300 dpi)
11.12 x 16.67 inch (300 dpi)
4.9 MB size on disk
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