March, 30 2012
Today’s photo update from Relief International volunteer and Deputy Community Service Coordinator, Bashir Mohamed, reporting from the field:
This girl is grinding Sorghum as part of routine meal preparation. Her name is Sarina and she is nine years old. The baby she is carrying is one of her twin nephews, Younis.
Sarina’s family, including her father Bell, mother Saima, and twin nephews, Younis and Julliet, arrived in Doro four months ago. They had fled from Belila, which is located in the Blue Nile State of Sudan, because of the increasing violence and conflict in the community.
Sarina is grinding Sorghum in the picture below.
March 22, 2012
Today’s update from Relief International Volunteer and Deputy Community Service Coordinator, Bashir Mohamed, reporting from the field:
This photo was taken during one of my meetings with the Sheikh of Balila (Balila is a sub-section of the Doro refugee camp) as he signed a list of approved tent recipients. Sheikhs are local elders who serve as community and/or religious leaders, much like chiefs and tribal representatives.
The photo below shows the Sheikh of Balila busy looking over assessment documents which he is signing.
My meeting with the Sheikh of Balila is part of a process that Relief International engages in along with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to collaborate with sheikhs who are representatives of refugees. One of the things we collaborate on is informing the sheikhs of tent assessments and their corresponding criteria to be conducted in the camp. The purpose of these tent assessments is to find out how many families, many of whom are newly arrived refugees, are in need of shelter.
Relief International and UNHCR look to the sheikhs to give approval and advice to conduct aid assessments in their communities. Working closely with community leaders is important so that Relief International can learn about what families in camps like Doro need most.
Once we have completed the assessment and created a list of families who need shelter, we take this list of beneficiaries back to the sheikhs for verification and signature.
March 6, 2012
Relief International aid worker Tiare Cross reports from the Doro Refugee Camp. Here is her post from today and photo update.
Today in Doro Refugee Camp, children’s activities started. I came upon this mob of exuberant children in the camp jumping rope. There were only ten jump ropes for approximately 100 plus children, but they were enjoying themselves in groups taking turns with the rope.
The photo above shows all the excited children that showed up for children’s activities today.
It is great to see kids smiling and playing, especially after they have made a hard journey from Blue Nile State to the refugee camp in Doro. Daily life for kids is not easy, many of the boys fish during the day at the river, bringing home a much needed protein source for their families. The girls spend most of the day bringing water and cooking for their families, as well as looking after other children. School starts in April here in South Sudan, and we know that getting children back to school is a top priority for the refugee families.
Below is a photo of child refugees jumping rope at the Doro Refugee Camp where Relief International is working.
March 14, 2012
Relief International volunteer, Bashir Mohamed, reports from the Doro Refugee Camp of Mabaan, South Sudan. He is currently setting up tents as a part of a project that provides around the clock assistance to newly arrived refugees and local families in Mabaan.
Today is my fourth week volunteering with Relief International as the Deputy Community Service Coordinator in the well-known Doro refugee camp of Mabaan, South Sudan. I am currently working on operations for a shelter project that is being funded by UNHCR and implemented by Relief International and have watched as our refugee team in Mabaan work around the clock providing assistance to both the newly arrived refugees as well as those who are settled here.
Today, as part of our routine activities, our team pitched 27 tents in the camp. Mrs. Hajara is the female head of her household and one of 27 families selected from Sorkum (a Doro camp sub-section) to receive a tent from Relief International. Before she received the tent, Hajara and her family of eight did not have a proper shelter. As you can see in the photo, all they had was a small hut that consisted of poles covered by whatever the family could find (mainly pieces of cloth, empty Sorghum sacks, and plastic sheets).
Mrs. Hajara, her husband, and their seven children had fled from Surkum village, located in the Blue Nile state of Sudan, due to the eruption of violence and internal wars in the region. They were not able to bring many of their belongings and her husband went back later to retrieve what they had left behind. Mrs. Hajara has not heard of her husband since, but she hopes that her husband will one day come back home safely.
These two photos depict Mrs. Hajara and her family’s situation before and after they received the tent from Relief International. The photo above was taken in front of their old hut, while the second photo was taken in front of their newly pitched tent.
“Now we own a house, it’s not a tent for us, but before we were homeless,” said Mrs. Hajara after receiving her new tent.
As you would notice from the faces of the second photo below, Mrs. Hajara, her children and I are all happy because the family´s lack of shelter nightmare is past.