PHOTOGRAPHER, VISUAL STORYTELLER

South Sudan: Firewood

 
 

On a dirt path dotted with bright-red bougainvillea, women in ankle-length dresses gather in groups of five or more before venturing into the forest.

Right outside the largest refugee camp in Juba, South Sudan's capital, sickles readied in their hands to cut firewood, the women say banding together offers a tiny sense of security, a little protection and the reassurance that if something happens to them inside the forest one of them might escape to tell someone.

 

 

 
 
 
 South Sudanese women are seen on the way to the forest to get firewood for their homes in a UN Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan.  In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 
 
 A South Sudanese flag flies in the Protection of Civilians site in Juba.
 
 A young girl, who witnessed her mother being raped when they were collecting firewood, is seen in her home in a POC site in South Sudan. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 
 
 
 After collecting firewood, women return home in groups to protect themselves from being an easy target for rapists. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 

 
 Firewood is seen in the back area of a tent in a Protection of Civilians (POC) site in South Sudan. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 
 
 
 A portrait of a woman who was raped on her way to get firewood. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 
 
 
 
 Women help each other carry firewood in Juba, South Sudan. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 Girls are seen in a center for girls inside a Protection of Civilians (POC) site in Juba. In this space for young girls, counselors help the girls become more independent - among the things they learn is what to do in case a man rapes or tries to rape you when you collect firewood.
 
 A young girl runs inside the protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.
 
 Girls are seen outside a makeshift church in a camp in South Sudan.
 
 Women return home after collecting firewood for their homes. In South Sudan, women and girls displaced from war must leave protection of civilians sites to collect firewood - a task traditionally done by women, who make up majority of the population in these camps. The journey is perilous and puts these women at continued risk of sexual violence, which rights groups have called an 'epidemic' in the country.

 

 


This project was done with the support of the International Women's Media Foundation.