/ 2017 / Advertising / Annual Reports

Children of Dadaab

  • Prize
    Bronze in Advertising/Annual Reports
  • Photographer
    Xiao Gu, United States

As the world’s largest refugee camp complex in
Kenya, Dadaab hosts more than 300,000 refugees,
most of whom are victims of the Somali Civil War.
In this densely populated area without electricity or
running tap water, refugees typically live in tents
made of plastic sheeting. Nearly half of the children
were not enrolled in school, volunteers would take
a role as teachers, teaching them some basic
words. For most children, lunch is just a cup of
flour-made gruel since UNWFP has to cut food
rations due to a funding shortage. Flies could be
found everywhere; Child death rate is very high
due to malnutrition and lack of sanitation. However,
the harsh conditions and environment cannot block
the innocence shining through from the children's
eyes as they combat with the adversities and
continue to survive and strive.

Born in Beijing and spent her childhood and teen years in various places including Tibet, Szechuan and Yunnan, Xiao “Freya” Gu is a volunteer, traveler and photographer currently based in New York. Early experience of diverse cultures and exposure to different communities unleashed her fascination for human and nature. She is passionate about observing and connecting the world through travelling and volunteering. She has traveled to all 7 continents and has been a dedicated volunteer since she was 15. She takes her lenses to capture precious moments, when she sees true beauty and dignity in human as well as the wilderness in nature.