The statistics surrounding the refugee crisis can overwhelm the individual life-altering stories that make up these huge numbers. Syria alone has 4.8 million refugees, while the unrest in South Sudan in May forced 50,000 people to flee their homes.
Aweuk (pictured below), a South Sudanese mother of four, gives a voice to one of these statistics.
For 10 days in May a stretch of land between the city of Malakal and the oil fields of Paloich in South Sudan was the site of intense fighting between government troops and South Sudanese militia.
“They came from the river and started shooting. I took my children and ran with the rest of the women to hide in the bush. The men stayed behind to fight.”
Aweuk’s husband was shot and killed by the attackers.
“After the attack, we had to leave our home. We brought nothing with us. It took us eight days to walk from Rom to Melut. The journey was very difficult because I was heavily pregnant and none of us had shoes.”
Aweuk and her children now live in a camp for internally displaced people. She lives in a cramped space on a plastic mat with her children and mother-in-law.
“There are others suffering all around me in this camp. I am not the only one. I know this.”
GOAL is providing aid to refugees and displaced people around the world. In the camp where Aweuk is now living with her family, GOAL is running nutrition, health and livelihood programmes as well as providing water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
You are helping us provide shelter for those desperately seeking refuge and we cannot thank you enough.