Stories from the field
- Safety after a desperate journey
Safety after a desperate journey
30 January 2018
When Amer’s husband was murdered, her brother-in-law tried to force her to marry him. When she refused, he kidnapped her three children.
Desperate to get her children back, Amer had no choice but to join her brother-in-law’s family. But she soon realised she had to escape.
They didn’t send my children to school. He tried to beat me all the time and burned me once on my arm. His wife and me we were fighting all the time. So I decide to look for money and leave.
Amer was able to borrow just enough money to escape, and with no documents or other supplies, she fled with her children and braved a terrifying journey to Ethiopia.
While she was finally free from her brother-in-law, she still faced many challenges. Living in a refugee camp her children didn’t feel well and cried all the time. She had also become very sick – and had a fourth child on the way.
Thankfully, Amer was referred to Act for Peace’s local partner, EOI-DICAC , in Addis Ababa and given refuge in the safe house that your donations help to run.
Here, she and her young family have a stable roof over their heads, as well as food, survival basics, medical care, and transport to and from the hospital.
Sister Mumbere, who coordinates the safe house, has seen the impact that has had on Amer’s life.
We take care of people who are very sick or who need special protection, like Amer. When she came here, our nurses looked after her day and night and gave her medicine,
Thanks to your compassion, Amer has not only received the medical support she’s needed to survive. She was also able to safely give birth to her youngest child.
Amer is relieved that her children are finally safe – and happy.
It’s not like in the camp, when my children didn’t feel well and cried all the time. Living here now, our life is much better. When we are sick, they take us to the hospital. We have food and a place to sleep, which has been life-changing.
Many flee to escape drought and deadly conflict, most are women and children. They’re living in overstretched refugee camps where safety is a constant concern and medical care can be very hard to access.
Without the safe house that you make possible, people like Amer, who need specialised or emergency treatment, could face further health complications and even death.
Sister Mumbere said that everyone who comes through the safe house gets specialised support – whether they need counselling or a supplementary diet.
What’s more, when people are ready to leave, her team give them the support they need to adjust to life on their own.
After years of fear, tragedy and hardship, Amer is so grateful to supporters like you, for helping her family survive and build a better life.