L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
May 2016

In the aftermath of World War II, Europe was on its knees, and millions were going hungry. The Non-governmental organization, CARE International was set up so that people in the U.S. could send essential CARE packages to those in need across Europe. The first CARE package arrived in Le Havre, France, in May 1946. 70 years later, CARE has 890 projects in 95 countries, touching the lives of more than 65 million people, and has become one of the leading organizations fighting global poverty.

Since 1991, CARE has provided assistance to the refugee population of the Dadaab refugee camp in North East Kenya. For more than a decade, Dadaab has been the world's largest refugee camp with the population reaching over 460'000 people at one point in 2011. The current population is around 350'000 of which 95,2% are Somali and 4,8% comprising of South Sudanese, Eritrea, Ethiopian, Burundian, and Ugandan among others. CARE's main long-term objective has been in empowering the refugee communities by becoming more self-sustaining. CARE in Dadaab has 1'715 staff, 1'543 of which are refugee workers. This allowed refugees to run operations during times of heightened security when the camp has been inaccessible to non-refugee staff.

In 2011, the award-winning photojournalist Luca Catalano Gonzaga set out to document the living conditions of the refugees in the Dadaab camp. He pictured this young woman and her daughters at the UNHCR Registration center. He described « (a) long silent queue, nobody smiles or talks, all are patiently waiting for their turn. Each and every single refugee is photographed and fingerprinted. Identification is the first vital step to aid. It means access to tents, lavatories, drinking water, healthcare facilities and food ».

This reportage entitled « The Hidden Focus » is part of the wider project « Child Survival in a Changing Climate » which aims to show the consequences of climate change on the environment and people's lives, with a particular focus on children. Notably awarded the 15th Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Prize this project has been initiated by the non-profit association Witness Image and funded by Nando Peretti Foundation. In 2009 Luca Catalano Gonzaga was awarded the Grand Prix CARE du Reportage humanitaire for his work on child labour in Nepal, which was presented at the International Festival of Photojournalism Visa pour l'image.