3 sisters: Assiya (8), Walletsali (6) and Ahmaydi Bouchra (3)
Mother: Wallet Imanika Matdu
Father AG Arhed Sali
Girl in blue (“Plan”): Walletsali, 6 years
Girl in violet: Ahmaydi Bouchra, 3 years
Girl in light blue/denim: Assiya, 8 years
Boy in green: Ilmiyassat, 4 years
Boy: Abdoul Aziz, 9 years
Baby 7 months
Assiya (8) loves school. She is working hard at school because she wants to be a doctor (medical worker) so that she can help others.
Walletsali (6) says: “I want to be a teacher.” She admires her teacher at school very much, and wants to be like her.
The two sisters are in the same class at school. (School classes are based on knowledge level, not age, and none of the girls went to school in Mali)
Little Ahmydi (3) has not started to attend school yet.
The girls are still struggling from the journey. They were very afraid, and they got fever during the journey.
The family of 8 lives in a tent that is approx. 7 x 6 meter large. The family bed is stored outside to make space inside the shelter during day time. In the evenings, they carry the bed back in.
Even though the space is limited and their tent shelter is in a condition that needs serious repair, they are grateful for the shelter provided to them by NRC. Even so, Mama Matdu is afraid that the sandstorms and rain will destroy their home, and they do not have any means to repair it.
The family came to the Goudebo camp in 2013. Back home in northern Mali, the situation became more and more difficult. There were many different armed groups fighting each other, and at last it was impossible for them to know which group that was safe or which that wanted to kill them. So they had to flee to secure their live. The journey was difficult and the family had to hide and flee in secret. Also during the journey they had to hide. All the animals they had back home, ran away during the journey, and because of the risk of ambush, they could not go to get the animals back.
The family has many challenges in the Goudebo refugee camp. One of them is water. The family has only three large 20-liter cans for carrying water from the water post to their tent shelter. Mother Matdu has to carry the cans the 500 meters to their tent. Because one of the cans is leaking, she must be careful with the water, as she is not able to carry the heavy cans more than once per day. Some lucky families have many cans and a small carriage to transport the water cans, some even have a donkey to pull the carriage.
Mama Matdu wishes most of all soap and a tub so that the children can have a proper wash. She knows that hygiene is vital to prevent sickness, but she has no soap. Now that the raining season is approaching, the risk for malaria is much higher, especially as the family has no mosquito nets.
The family hopes to go back to Mali one day, but as the fightings still continue there, it is too dangerous.
Photo: NRC/Ingrid Prestetun