The world's toughest mums - refugee mums
They say there is no love like a mother’s love. And what better day to celebrate all that our mum’s have sacrificed and done for us than Mother’s Day? Today, we pay respect to the mums caught up in some of the world’s biggest crises who are providing the love and strength their children need to get through the daily struggle and danger of growing up as a refugee or during an emergency - because we think they really are some of the world’s toughest mums.
Fleeing violence and living in hunger in East Africa
With six children, Vivianna was forced to flee her home in South Sudan when the fighting began. They settled in an abandoned village in Central Equitoria which had already seen its fair share of fighting. She worries the armed men will return and she’s not sure how long she can keep her children safe. Now mothers in South Sudan aren’t just worried about their children’s safety, their having to comfort their starving children and don’t know where their next meal will come from.
With 16 million people on the brink of starvation, communities in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are facing the worst drought in decades. We’re providing life-saving food and water to children and their families.
Vivianna asks herself the same questions every day: “Will they survive without food? Are they safe? Will they make it if they try to make it to neighbouring Uganda?”
Syrian Refugee Mums
The Syrian conflict is causing untold trauma to the people, particularly children, of Syria. Those who have been lucky enough to escape the danger of the civil war, still face a multitude of struggles in their host countries, such as psychological trauma from war, loss of leaving loved ones behind, language barriers, financial difficulties and integration and acceptance in new countries.
We’re working with Syrian refugee mums in Egypt to bring smiles to their children’s faces again after the horror they have witnessed. Our parenting education sessions teach mothers how to help their children move on from the trauma of war, it teaches them about their rights as refugees and provides a safe place for mothers to meet other Syrian mothers.
The CAR Refugee Mums
Nearly one million refugees are sheltering in makeshift camps or seeking refuge within mosques and churches after fleeing violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). Thousands of refugees, including the most vulnerable of all - women and children - have crossed into neighbouring country Cameroon after being forced from their homes. Mothers and children arriving in Cameroon have battled starvation, diseases and attacks.
Our aid workers have been providing child providing child protection projects, education and vital water and sanitation for the CAR refugees. We have helped over 11,000 children who would otherwise not be attending school.
Here, one grandmother carried her four-month-old granddaughter Salamatou for four months to seek refuge in Cameroon after Salamatou’s parents were killed by the violence in CAR. Salamatou suffered from a broken arm, a head wound, candidiasis and severe malnutrition.
Burundi Refugee Mums
Every week, around 724 people cross the border to Tanzania from Burundi. Many of the children who are seeking safety with their mothers have experienced unspeakable ordeals. Mothers and children are living in overcrowded conditions in refugee camps on the Tanzanian border and the spread of disease is a serious concern.
We’re helping mothers and their children by providing physiological support to those most affected by the difficult experience they have lived through. We’re also locating emergency foster homes and caregivers for orphans and children unaccompanied by family members.
Latest stories for you
Rohingya refugees have been bracing themselves for the pandemic.
These five people have gone above and beyond to support their communities.
As we went into lockdown, we knew there would be an impact on girls’ lives in the UK.
In crowded refugee camps like Azraq, the impact of coronavirus could be devastating.