giles duley captures children dancing together in sudan

The Power of Play: Giles Duley's photographs

Photographer Giles Duley’s captures how, even in the midst of conflict, children can find time for fun

Their dance is of innocent joy. Yet Josephine and her younger companions are refugees, displaced from their homes in South Sudan by brutal civil war.

They were photographed by Giles Duley, as part of a project with Save the Children to document the lives of some of the 357 million young people worldwide affected by conflict.

Giles met Josephine at Omugo refugee camp, where her mother, Lily, runs a small restaurant that serves the best goat curry around.

Josephine, who lost her dad in the war, helps her mum at work but spends lots of time playing and laughing in one of the Child Friendly Spaces we’ve established to help children who have escaped the violence in South Sudan. These feature schools, playgrounds and peace clubs.

Giles also travelled to Iraq and Ukraine for the project, and, wherever he went, found children like Josephine who were deeply affected by war, yet resilient and full of hope. Josephine was fiercely proud of her identity, too, wearing her hair in braids, while most other girls in the camp had theirs cut short.

“It reminds me of old friends in South Sudan,” she told him. “We used to [braid each other’s hair] all the time. It’s my biggest fear that I forget them.”

More than one million adults and children have fled South Sudan for Uganda. Our teams are working in Omugo, Rhino camp and Bidi Bidi – the largest refugee camp in the world, with approximately 270,000 residents.

Thanks to supporters like you, we can create Child Friendly Spaces so that children affected by the war can enjoy life again and return to making their positive mark on the world.

Donate today and help to provide safe spaces where children can recover from the psychological damage of conflict.

About Giles Duley

The 47-year-old photographer first worked in the fashion and music industries before switching to documentary photography, focussing on humanitarian issues and the impact of conflict on communities.

In 2011, Giles lost his left arm and both legs to a landmine during an assignment in Afghanistan. Doctors told him he may never live independently, but within 18 months he was back in Afghanistan, overcoming the pain of relying on prosthetic legs, and has since worked everywhere from Jordan to Columbia, Bangladesh to Lebanon.

Giles won the 2013 May Chidiac Award for Bravery in Journalism.

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