Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Safiya’s escape to safety

Reading time: 2 min

An camp for displaced people in Ethiopia, people walking by a row large tents.

Across Ethiopia, conflict has displaced over 4.6 million people. Many of them mothers with young children, like Safiya and her baby.

Safiya fled her home when the conflict started. Like so many people who have been displaced by conflict in Ethiopia, she had nowhere else to go.

“I was in hospital to give birth to my fourth child. The situation aggravated and I had to flee from the hospital three days after giving birth… To escape the fighting I had to run to the bushes, separated from the rest of my children. I realised my newborn daughter and me were all alone.”

Safiya joined a group of people who were also fleeing. Together they walked for 12 days, covering a distance equivalent to London to Manchester, so they could escape the fighting and find refuge in an internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camp.

An IDP camp in Ethiopia, tents sheltering people displaced by conflict
Hundreds of people arrive at IDP camps each week, walking many miles to reach safety.

A journey of unimaginable horrors.

“I saw horrific sights, mothers, girls and children being killed in front of our eyes. I was so cold and hungry.”

When Safiya reached the safety of the IDP camp she was incredibly weak. Her body had not had a chance to recover from birth and was barely able to sustain breastfeeding her daughter.

Essential care for women and children.

Dr Hawi and her devoted team coordinate an emergency clinic, from a tent in the middle of the camp. There, they welcome women like Safiya with reassurance and gentle care. The team carry out a health check for mothers and babies, supporting their recovery with nutritious hot meals, medicine and treatment.

Woman walking past an emergency clinic tent in camp for internally displaced people
Our partner's emergency clinics are providing life-saving care to thousands of people.

Thanks to the care provided by the clinic in the camp, Safiya has regained her strength and her daughter is slowly gaining weight. 

Without help, Safiya and her baby would have died.

Right now, there are thousands of women like Safiya in Ethiopia that the conflict has displaced and who have had to travel many miles, facing unimaginable dangers. The only option many of these women have is to rely on the kindness of others; the staff and volunteers in the camp, and you.

Together we can make a difference.

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