Refugee Stories

Somali refugee mother searches for a better life for her children

Life as a refugee was worth the risk for this Somali mother

The look in her eyes reveals everything — the anguish of a mother who would do anything to keep her children safe and fed.

Somali refugee Aisha Yussuf Abdi left her farm, walking for three treacherous days to the border of Ethiopia with her seven young children. The family was hungry, thirsty and exhausted when they arrived at Dollo Ado, a UN Refugee Agency reception center in southern Ethiopia. “We had no money to buy things along the way,” Aisha explained.

Despite the risk, Aisha had no choice. It would have been more dangerous to stay.

Exhausted and hungry, Somali refugee and mother Aisha Yussuf Abdi finally reaches the Dollo Ado reception centre in Ethiopia with her seven children, after a three-day trek over the border.

Escalating violence and the worst drought in seven years has forced more than two million Somalians from their homes. The vast majority of refugees, including the Abdis, come from rural and agrarian regions, where they rely on farming or raising livestock for their livelihoods.

“We had our farm, our cows and food on our table. But you could feel the drought coming,” Aisha says. The family tried to keep their farm in production, but “all of our cows, everything, died before our eyes.”

She feared the same fate for her children.

"All I want is a better life for my children so that they go to school."

Despite grave threats to their safety, refugee mothers like Aisha are strong, resilient and determined to secure their children’s futures.

Thanks to USA for UNHCR donors, Aisha will have the resources she needs to keep her children healthy, safe and fed. Her story is unique, but her family’s situation is not — globally, more than 65 million people have been forced from their homes and the majority of them are children.

Here’s how you can help …

Become a USA for UNHCR monthly donor and give hope and support to courageous and resilient mothers like Aisha. It’s the most convenient, effective and efficient way you can save lives. Make your monthly gift today.


May 2 2017
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