This series is a five-year-long project that is finally coming to fruition for The Artist Oliver James. James has been working with Kissule Herman, the director of Hope of Mercy Ministries Uganda, a non-profit orphanage in Jinja, Uganda.
This project is portraits of the children at the orphanage. Every year or so Kissule and Oliver have worked together to raise money to purchase goats for holiday dinners and/or funds to pay for school fees. In 2019 Oliver James helped put together a business plan so that the orphanage could buy land to grow food and raise cattle to make the orphanage more sustainable.
According to UNICEF, Uganda has 2.5 million orphans; 1.2 million of them are orphaned as a result of AIDS. Accidents are also common causes of orphaned children in Uganda. Those who get serious diseases like cancer, cholera, and tuberculosis usually die as a result, because medical treatments are too expensive for those who are poor. This has also contributed to the rise in the number of orphans in Uganda. These orphans face numerous challenges, one being that they have no access to education.
The proceeds will help Hope of Mercy Ministries Uganda, a non-profit organization that takes care of some of the orphaned and widowed of Jinja Uganda. Please also think about donating directly to Hope of Mercy Jinja Uganda.
Thank you to all the children at Hope of Mercy Ministries Uganda and The Dupont Underground in Washington, DC. These portraits will be on display at The Dupont Underground in Washington, DC in September of 2024.
Using acrylic paint on 48"x36" and 48"x24" plywood, this three-layer stencil style with Ugandan/African textile patterns was painted on a plain background to allow the color and patterns in the four ground to pop.
Design: The Artist Oliver James
Photography/Videography: Oliver James