Zaid Mehari is eight months pregnant. She is one of thousands of displaced people who have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict in Tigray, northern Ethiopia.
Had it not been for the conflict Zaid would be safe in her warm home in Adigrat, the second biggest city in the region, being looked after by her mother, husband and brother.
Before the conflict Zaid was a successful and respected retailer, and her husband a government employee. The couple were excited, counting days to the birth of their firstborn.
Forced to flee by conflict
But the conflict started, and she fled to a nearby small town. She begged her elderly mother to go with her. But her mother refused saying she would rather die in a place she had lived in all her life.
Since she left home, Zaid has moved three times. Conflict followed wherever she went. She was so tired of running she decided to stay in Mekele, Tigray’s capital city, to face whatever fate sent her.
At one stage Zaid was sheltering in a church, with all her possessions – a few clothes and her purse – in a plastic bag. One night her bag was stolen by other displaced people. When she awoke in the morning, she had nothing. Crying, she was approached by a representative of the Red Cross. After explaining her situation she was relocated to a temporary Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp.
Zaid found safe haven in the camp where GOAL teams were ready to support her. She was provided with a blanket, cooking materials, a hygiene kit, and financial support. Worried for the safety of her unborn baby, Zaid also received a medical check up.
“I thought nobody cared”
“I was traumatized by all that happened to me. I thought nobody cared. When aid workers approached me, I felt that I was not alone. GOAL has given me hope now in my life.”
Meanwhile Zaid awaits the birth of her first child. And like many other IDPs, she wants to see the conflict over. All she wants is to be reunited with her mother, husband, and brothers.