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Clean water is fueling creativity in a refugee camp

By Oxfam
Children in Uganda’s Bidibidi refugee settlement show off their toy cars made from found materials. Photo: Andy Oxley/Oxfam

In Uganda’s refugee settlements, where even the most basic supplies are hard to come by, children are making playthings out of unexpected materials. 

Like so many others living in Bidibidi, the world’s largest refugee resettlement area, Martin had to leave his life behind to escape fighting back home in South Sudan. Having arrived in Uganda with few possessions, Martin and with his playmates in Bidibidi are building themselves a new toy collection out of the things other people throw away.

In Bidibidi, Oxfam is providing clean water for around 200,000 people, as well as toilets and hand-washing facilities. That means children like Martin and his friends are not only safe from conflict, but diseases too–and because they’re not getting ill so often, they can let their imaginations run free.

Holding up his car, Martin says proudly: “I made this. I started building it using a box. I use nails for piercing and rope for tying. The wheels are bottle caps of used soda bottles. I got them in the garbage.”

Although Martin and his friends have built up an impressive fleet of toy cars, play’s not the only thing on his mind. Martin’s hoping he can go back to school soon, where he’ll really be able to put his imagination to good use.

As families who have fled their homes start all over again in Bidibidi, your support is making their fight against poverty a little bit easier—and giving kids like Martin and his friends the chance to play.


Right now, millions of people are on the brink of starvation. It doesn't have to be this way--you have the power to help them overcome hunger. 

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