Looking for Shelter
A few weeks ago, I had the unique chance to work in border areas of Chad and Niger, where for years, communities have welcomed refugees.
In Gore (border with the Central African Republic), Goz Beida (border with Sudan), Tagal, Bagasola and Diffa (Lake Chad, affected by the Boko Haram crisis), I met people who were forced to take refuge because of war and violence, people who walked for days, weeks, months leaving all belongings behind to survive. Some have lived as refugees for two, five years. Some have been looking for shelter for thirteen years. In these god forsaken parts of the world, where finding water, feeding your children, giving birth or seeing a doctor is more challenging than any other parts of the world, I also met men and women who opened their doors and welcomed foreigners, shared their land and demonstrated a generosity that we, in much richer parts of the globe, seem unable to offer anymore.
As I returned home, I promised myself to find ways to tell the story of these people, to give them a voice and remind everyone that those who bare the brunt of the global refugee crisis today all live in developing countries. That, despite their limited resources, they demonstrate incredible humanity. And that countries in North America and Europe have a critical role to play in helping refugees live with dignity and safe from harm.
I am an amateur photographer but I hope I managed to convey, in ten pictures, the realities of everyday life of refugees and their hosts in Niger and Chad.