After escaping the horrors of genocide that included burning their villages to the ground, thousands of Sudanese people fled Sudan to seek safety in countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and even as far away as the United States. More than 20 years have gone by, and many of the survivors have returned to rebuild their villages, their homes and their lives.
My project is to visually tell the story of the Village of Maar, South Sudan and its people. The Southern Sudan Healthcare Organization (SSHCO) is a non-profit organization founded by Jacob Atem and Lual Deng; both are “Lost Boys of Sudan,” who survived the war on their villages. Together they drive the organization’s vision and message of a safer Southern Sudan through health care and education. This April, I will be traveling with the SSHCO cofounder, Jacob Atem, to the village of Maar to deliver supplies and get the clinic the organization has built up and running.
Maar is a remote village in the State of Jonglei, of the Republic of Southern Sudan, and is the same village Jacob fled to escape genocide more than 20 years ago. I will be documenting Jacob’s journey and the organization's efforts as they travel from the United States to Maar, South Sudan.
The surviving people of the village of Maar have returned to start a new life. I want to give a face to the people of this village with my photography, sharing with the world what it is like to live in a rural South Sudan Village, and report on the lack of health care and health-care education. I also want to document what a difference people like Jacob have made in improving the lives of his people and the efforts he is making to help them become self-sustaining when it comes to good, local health care.
This project will serve a number of purposes. One is to document Jacob’s travel to and experience in his home village of Maar. The second is to create a photo essay of the people living in Maar, which will be published as a hardcover book. The third is to report on the story of SSHCO and the people of Maar as a journalist, and market the resulting story to news media outlets upon returning to the U.S.
What it will take to complete this project:
Plane ticket from the U.S. to Juba, South Sudan - $2000 ( I am hoping to cover this cost with my Kickstarter funds) Travel dates April 21st to May 5th
Entry Visa -$100
Traveler's insurance for my camera equipment and other necessary purchases to make a project like this possible in such a remote part of the world - $1000+
Cost of producing the work over a 10-day period - $500
Creation of the books - $1000
Everything else (food water etc.) $500
Project total will be just over $5000.
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