By Patrick Ferrity
1. Kaabong, Karamoja, Uganda
This photo is from during my first weeks in Karamoja. It is a remote region in northern Uganda. It is close to South Sudan and around a 14-hour drive from the capital city, Kampala. I chose this photo to show the remoteness of the region. The region was naturally beautiful but could often feel quite isolating. You become accustomed to very long drives.
2. Conflict Resolution & Management Training (Abim, Karamoja)
This photo is of a training session on Conflict Resolution & Management in conjunction with the Child & Family Protection Unit (CFPU) of the National Police and community leaders. The Karamoja region had been historically affected by conflict. These training sessions were an opportunity for community leaders to learn conflict skills and strategies (e.g. communication skills, mediation and negotiation). The training sessions required a translator who spoke Karamojong. It was difficult to gather information for monitoring and evaluation purposes due to this language barrier, as well as high rates of illiteracy.
3. Moroto Town, Karamoja
This photo is of Moroto town where I lived. The town is surrounded by incredible mountains. Only a few hundred people live here. There are a large number of NGOs based in Moroto. The Moroto district is one of the poorest parts of Uganda and has one of the highest Human Poverty Indices (HPI) in over 60%. The one question I always asked myself was how such a small town could have so many NGOs working there over decades, and still be faced with so much poverty. In this context, I realised that I took for granted much of the social protections we are lucky to have in Ireland.
4. Nakapiripirit, Karamoja
This photo is of an open forum and training on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) with community leaders. From my work with these forums, I discovered that many misconceptions were surrounding GBV within the communities, particularly when compared with views commonly held in Ireland. You can see the beautiful vibrant clothing that is traditional for the Karamojong.
5. Kotido, Karamoja
One of the biggest challenges to our work was the poor road infrastructure that was common across Karamoja. During the rainy season, these challenges became even more heightened. This photo is of the severe flooding that resulted after heavy rains cut our journey to Kotido short.
6. Mount Moroto
I always loved the sunsets in Karamoja. The remoteness of the region meant that there savannah all around you as far as the eye could see. It was very much as if you were living on the edge of the world.