Marc Ellison

Rose Achayo pulls down the top of her dress to show ugly dark scars across her chest. She says members of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda cut her when she dropped a heavy load of rice she’d been carrying for many miles.
Contrary to the misconception that LRA’s child soldiers are only young boys, Rose was one of approximately 8000 girls forced to be not only commanders’ wives but also soldiers, often running into battle with babies on their backs. Rose is a three-time victim: torn away from her home at a young age by the LRA; forced to be a wife in the bush; and now, upon her return, stigmatized by her community and even her own family.
The scars of war are not only physical. The long-lasting psychological and emotional effects can be even more devastating and life changing. Even though the guns are now silent in Uganda, most Canadians don’t realize that for female former child soldiers like Rose, the problems still persist.

Marc Ellison left the safety of his oubliette after a ten year IT career to chase his dream of becoming a photojournalist. To prove it wasn’t a foolhardy exercise, he’s since worked in Central African Republic, northern Uganda and South Sudan over the last two years. Marc’s most recent project funded by an IDRC award has examined the reintegration of female former child soldiers in Uganda (www.dwogpaco.com). Marc has since produced work for: Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, 60 Minutes, CBC, MTV Canada, Canadian Geographic, IDRC, Radio Miraya and The New Nation (both South Sudan), Mega FM (Gulu, Uganda), and OpenFile.
He recently won best photo in the Africa category in the World Bank Picture Inequality competition.