Refugees

National Geographic Photographers Provide Syrian Refugees With Family Portraits

A Syrian woman presses a framed photo against her chest. The photo features one of the only things she has left: her family. For a moment, she is reminded that home is far more than just a place.

Photographers from Ripple Effect Images arrived in Jordan last month with a unique mission: to offer a photograph to every Syrian refugee family in a camp of 18,000 people. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians have been displaced, often fleeing without so much as a family portrait.

The Ripple Effect Images team, including National Geographic photographers Lynn Johnson and Annie Griffiths and award winning filmmaker Nacho Corbella, spent two weeks providing family photos and gathering personal stories that will be used to raise funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

In the refugee camp, Ripple photographers met farmers and doctors, teachers and shopkeepers, university students and engineers whose lives were torn apart by war. The gift of a simple family photo lit up their eyes, caused some to gasp and others to giggle.

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A Syrian woman holds a framed photo that she plans to send back to family members still in Syria, who have never seen her baby girl.  For a moment, she is reminded that home is far more than just a place.  Photo by Annie Griffiths.
A Syrian woman holds a framed photo that she plans to send back to family members still in Syria, who have never seen her baby girl. For a moment, she is reminded that home is far more than just a place.
Photo by Annie Griffiths.
A smile is brought to the faces of these Syrian refugee children as they receive their family photo. According to the United Nations, 41% of refugees worldwide are children. By sharing their stories, Ripple Effect Images hopes to raise awareness and funds to support refugees worldwide.   Photo by Lisa Krantz.
A smile is brought to the faces of these Syrian refugee children as they receive their family photo. According to the United Nations, 41% of refugees worldwide are children. By sharing their stories, Ripple Effect Images hopes to raise awareness and funds to support refugees worldwide.
Photo by Lisa Krantz.
A child is washed in an outhouse in a UNHCR refugee camp in Jordan. Being together as a family gives them hope.  The family was caught between ISIS and the Syrian regime, forcing them to flee. They are deeply saddened by the thought that they might never go home, but know their current situation is better than the last.  Photo by Lynn Johnson.
A child is washed in an outhouse in a UNHCR refugee camp in Jordan. Being together as a family gives them hope. The family was caught between ISIS and the Syrian regime, forcing them to flee. They are deeply saddened by the thought that they might never go home, but know their current situation is better than the last.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
A Syrian child peers out of a tent in a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp CARE center in Jordan. After an airstrike destroyed his home, he and his family each packed two pieces of clothing, took a car to the border and walked 11 kilometers to Jordan in darkness and silence. His mother now has a job at the International Medical Corp and is a role model for young women in the camp.  Photo by Lynn Johnson.
A Syrian child peers out of a tent in a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp CARE center in Jordan. After an airstrike destroyed his home, he and his family each packed two pieces of clothing, took a car to the border and walked 11 kilometers to Jordan in darkness and silence. His mother now has a job at the International Medical Corp and is a role model for young women in the camp.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
After a year in this refugee camp, this grandma will return to Syria. “I want to go home,” she says. “But I feel like I’m setting my heart on fire by leaving my family behind.” She said that her soul will be alive again when she kisses the earth of her homeland.   Photo by Lynn Johnson.
After a year in this refugee camp, this grandma will return to Syria. “I want to go home,” she says. “But I feel like I’m setting my heart on fire by leaving my family behind.” She said that her soul will be alive again when she kisses the earth of her homeland.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
  A two-week-old lays swaddled in her family’s caravan.  Born in the camp, she is the hope of the family, reminding them of the joy of life and the promise of new beginnings. When the family finally returns to their beloved country, they will rename her Syria.  Photo by Lynn Johnson.

A two-week-old lays swaddled in her family’s caravan. Born in the camp, she is the hope of the family, reminding them of the joy of life and the promise of new beginnings. When the family finally returns to their beloved country, they will rename her Syria.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
A Syrian husband and wife share a laugh while telling stories about drinking tea and listening to the radio morning to get through difficult times. They bring one another joy and, together, are keeping their family connected with a thread of hope.  Photo by Lynn Johnson.
A Syrian husband and wife share a laugh while telling stories about drinking tea and listening to the radio morning to get through difficult times. They bring one another joy and, together, are keeping their family connected with a thread of hope.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
Alone in the camp, these siblings count on one another.  Cared for by their eldest sister, she is the light in their darkness. Preparing their food, cleaning their caravan and clothes, and checking their homework are only a few of her many responsibilities now. This is the reality for many young people, as almost half of the world’s displaced people are children.  Many spend their entire childhood far from home without their parents.  Photo by Lynn Johnson.
Alone in the camp, these siblings count on one another. Cared for by their eldest sister, she is the light in their darkness. Preparing their food, cleaning their caravan and clothes, and checking their homework are only a few of her many responsibilities now. This is the reality for many young people, as almost half of the world’s displaced people are children. Many spend their entire childhood far from home without their parents.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
Two children work on their studies outside a caravan.  Despite having have almost two years of schooling due to the conflict, they remain advanced in their studies.  Syrian children may one day one day have the responsibility of rebuilding Syria after the war, which makes education of crucial importance.  In order to continue education, UNCHR provides for children and young adults. Photo by Lynn Johnson.
Two children work on their studies outside a caravan. Despite having have almost two years of schooling due to the conflict, they remain advanced in their studies. Syrian children may one day have the responsibility of rebuilding Syria after the war, which makes education of crucial importance. In order to continue education, UNCHR provides for children and young adults.
Photo by Lynn Johnson.
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Category: Refugees    Uncategorized
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  • Amazing photos and fantastic work to support refugees! Inspirational.