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HORN OF AFRICA/ 3. Maria (AVSI): They desire bread, water and education

School in the Dadaab refugee camp School in the Dadaab refugee camp

In the areas of the camp where the new wave of refugees is established, there are no schools built. Male children and young people roam around all day. The girls help their mothers with their younger siblings. I often see them chasing each other with stones and wooden sticks, the only things they can find nearby to play with.

This morning I met Mohammed Noor at the registration center for new arrivals.He was the first to want to talk, after I received many refusals from other refugees. He was a nomad in Somalia and he decided to leave with his family because of the drought and the war. He arrived at our camp after 25 days of journeying on foot.

He was not interested in speaking about his history, but instead wanted to talk about the road and all of the problems that he saw during his walk without food or water. He wanted to talk about the children, 2 or 3 years old, who he saw being abandoned on the dusty roads, and about the desperation of the mothers. When we ask him why he left, he responds that he did it because he heard that in Dadaab they gave out food and water and guaranteed an education. So he left with his family. The situation is difficult. There are no tents to sleep in, but he wanted a place for his wife and children to be able to grow and be taught. Bread, water and education.

To cope with the crisis, Avsi is answering the call of AGIRE (www.agire.it, the Italian emergency response organization) to collect additional resources.

(Maria Li Gobbi -AVSI)

(Translation by Maria Bond)

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