I am Atiko Anthony, a photographer based in Gulu, Uganda. I specialize in documentary photography. The documentary assignments I have worked on include covering refugee girls in Uganda, informal systems of disposing waste in Gulu and a walk of several Christians depicting how Jesus carried a Cross. These works can be seen online on Instagram (@Atiko_Anthony).
I would like to use my expertise in photography to train war-affected persons living in refugee settlements to tell their own story. Uganda currently hosts 1,276,208 refugees. Uganda is expected to host 1.11 million refugees from South Sudan in 2019 and 1.07 million in 2020, with 50,000 new refugee arrivals in 2019 and 20,000 in 2020.Uganda Country Refugee Response Plan- Global Focus, UNHCR, 2019.
The outcome of this training would enable sponsors to have a primary source of visual information of the experiences of war -affected persons as well as have themselves persons to employ. Several refugees enter Uganda seeking asylum with minimal access to basic needs. The first priority of humanitarian actors such as UNHCR and WFP is thus to ensure their access to water, food and housing. Often, the refugees do not have ability and resources to tell their own stories about themselves or what happened during the conflicts that they fled from. This is because they lack equipment such as cameras and smartphones to document them. Additionally, some refugees are not literate and may not know how to use professional cameras and smartphones to document their stories. This results in their stories being told by others, such as NGOs and journalists that are operating in the refugee settlements.
It is proposed that teaching refugee girls photography skills will empower them to define a narrative of what happened to them, how it affected them and what their aspirations are for the future. This will contribute to their psychological healing from the effects of war and provide them with a social activity. Learning photography can also open them up to job opportunities to document stories in the settlements or other parts of Uganda.
Mentoring will help trainees have their photography skills assessed and corrected after the training. It will also help the trainees to build up their portfolios on Instagram that potential employers can review.
Networking will help the trainees expose their work to interested professionals. This can be done in the form of an Annual exhibition where invited parties such as UNHCR, OPM and other stakeholders can see their work.
Reporting of the work done by trainees shall help in evaluation of the work and contribute to developing online publications and magazines.
The funds will be used for setting up this training that will be eventually held annually to train the war affected Girls especially inn the refugee settlements. Camera equipment shall be bought as well as the invited number of interested girls attending shall be given accommodation and feeding for the time they are for the workshop.
I personally want to work with the refugees and be of the best help to give hope to them. i do not have much but all i have with me is the heart of sharing whatever little i have. as a photographer sharing my skills is one that i can offer. I stayed with the refugee girls and trained them in leadership workshops that has really helped me not only change my whole thinking but also interact and find greatness and talents among the few i interacted with. Creating a smile in faces is something i look forward to as well as giving back lost hope to the individuals.
I will be most grateful if all of you share with me this vision and get back lost hope to the individuals as well as create awareness that we not only live today but live to shape communities around us. i believe if we touch the life of one we can touch the lives of many. Through one reaching to one and one to another