Separated from their loved ones and homes by the conflict in Sudan, hundreds of thousands of people have become refugees seeking solace in foreign lands. Each person has a unique story yet is bound with hope for compassion, peace and stability. In Walgaa in South Sudan’s Akobbo state, hundreds of refugees and returnees who have fled the war in Sudan are arriving with nothing to fend for themselves. In one of the camps, we meet a group of mothers sitting together, young and old, with their children while waiting for food rations from INGOs.
Among them, we meet a 19-year-old Hekima Mousa, a mother of two who fled her home after the war started. Hekima, like hundreds of other Sudanese refugees, has left behind everything she knew- a life of familiarity and comfort in search of safety. As she fled, Hekima met 47-year Hiba, an older woman travelling with her two grandchildren. Despite looking after her children and her baggage, Hekima also helped Hiba with her grandchildren at every step as they travelled together, from one bus to another and from one impediment to another.
“I had to leave home with my two children after the war started. We had to walk for hours to get to this location and finally to Walgaa. We arrived with a lot of older people. I am now helping by cooking and cleaning for them,” says Hekima. The journey was tough, but they supported and protected one another, forming a bond to ensure everyone’s safety. “ We had to stick together, Hiba helps with my children when I go out to look for water and even look for food, I help when cooking and cleaning for not only
Hiba but a few others who are struggling to help themselves” says Hiba Amid all the challenges, Hekima is strengthening her situation by extending her helping hand to older refugees. As the conflict in Sudan continues into its second month, over 110,000 refugees and returnees have crossed the border to South Sudan, with as many as 2,000 or more arriving daily since the beginning of June.