Last summer, Oxfam Ireland asked me to write a poem for their 'Write to Refuge' exhibition. This included images of refugees and displaced people from places such as Burundi, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.
The image I received was of a mother and son at Boporo camp, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with some background information about the civil unrest and displacement in the region. This is part of the information:
"In the north east of the country, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorised civilians for years, attacking villages, abducting women and children, and destroying livelihoods. We provide clean water to communities, hospitals and schools in the region, and provide support to people living with HIV and AIDS. Eastern DRC is extremely lush and fertile, but the conflict and obstructions such as checkpoints – where farmers are forced to pay bribes to get to markets – mean it doesn’t produce as much food as it should. We provide a number of farmers’ associations across the region with the seeds, tools and technical advice they need to feed their communities."
The exhibition was originally part of Culture Night Belfast, and is now set to reach a wider audience, with a tour in partnership with Libraries NI. Find out more here. Details of the launch event on February 2nd are here.
Find out more about the Write to Refuge campaign.