In November 2016, at the height of the conflict that engulfed the Kasaï-Central province, Rose was forced to leave her village, Tshikele, to find refuge for herself and her family.
“When the militia invaded our village, we had to flee into the bush. During our escape, I lost all trace of my husband. I ended up alone with my four children, the oldest is only 12. We lived out in the bush for more than six months, far away from any sort of help,” explains Rose, who is in her forties.
“Along with a few other people from our village, we took shelter on the right-hand banks of the Moyo river,” continues the mother. “We didn’t have any protection from the storms and we didn’t have any access to medical care or clean water. All we had to eat were leaves and cassava.”
Rose and her children took advantage of a lull in the violence in June 2017 to return to their village in the Bunkonde health zone and her sick children quickly received the treatment they needed.
However, upon their arrival, the family discovered that everything had been destroyed. “My house, which I had sacrificed so much for, was half-destroyed and everything in it had been taken. Everything needed to be rebuilt,” says Rose, saddened by the memories.
Rose lost everything when she fled and didn’t have the financial resources to buy new kitchenware. This mother is trying to take care of her family by returning to the farming activities she had abandoned when the violence forced them to escape into the bush.
It was only in December that Rose finally got what she needed to take care of her family’s daily needs again. At a UNICEF distribution point, Rose received kitchenware, blankets, fabric, mats, tarpaulin, a hand-washing device and soap. Non-food items were also distributed by Action Against Hunger.
“The containers I received mean that I can finally store my drinking water in good conditions, this will keep my children and I safe from waterborne diseases,” explains Rose, visibly overjoyed.
This aid in the form of household supplies offers Rose a glimmer of hope and she would like other families affected by the violence to receive the same kind of support. The needs remain great. With her limited resources, Rose has managed to send her children back to school, but this mother still does not know if they will be able to complete the year.
UNICEF action and its partners
In 2017, UNICEF launched an operation to distribute kits containing kitchenware, blankets, fabric, mats, tarpaulin, a hand-washing device and soap in the Bunkonde health zone.
This support is part of the Rapid Response to Population Movements program (Réponse Rapide aux Mouvements de Populations – RRMP), which is financially supported by the European Commission’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) department, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, Canada, and Belgium.
More info about the RRMP program :
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