Posts Tagged ‘Sahel’

Sahel Food Crisis: A Refugee’s Story

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

By Helen Blakesley

Refugee camp

Fadimata Walet Haiballa (in blue) is a refugee living in the camp in Fererio, northern Burkina Faso. Her husband was killed in the violence in northern Mali, so she fled with her 3 children. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS

Fadimata Walet Haiballa is a 49-year-old Tuareg woman from Gao in Mali. She’s been living in Fererio temporary refugee camp, Burkina Faso for nearly 6 months now. Her husband was killed in the violence in the North of their home country. She fled with her three children, her 82 year-old father and other family members, traveling for two days to reach neighboring Burkina Faso. She’s the women’s representative on the camp committee.

The militia rebels spread terror in our region. They would harass us, knock things from our hands … and worse. There were bombings, executions. I lost my husband in one of the bombings. We had to leave. We were terrified.

I left all I had behind. Life has changed completely. Back in Mali, before the troubles, we were in our big, beautiful house. We lived in good conditions. We didn’t know fear, we didn’t have this hot sun beating down on us. I had the father of my children with me. Now we’re here in the dust, with the sun. We’re thirsty, we’re surviving on mediocre food. So a lot has changed. Above all, my work, my job, with which I could feed and clothe my children, that’s all gone.

Sahel Food Crisis: Helping Niger Help Itself

Monday, June 11th, 2012
Niger garden

A man waters plants in a CRS dry season market garden in Jougola, Niger. Photo by Tahirou Gouro/CRS

By Thomas Awiapo

Traveling in Niger to see the impact of the current food crisis there first-hand, as well as CRS’ work, I spent the last five days with an evaluation team tasked with assessing the impact of CRS’ work in the area. What a special learning moment this was for me!

I sat in on several focus group interviews and discussions in the villages we visited and I walked away with one great lesson: No one can develop human beings; you can only help human beings develop themselves.