Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Senait’s Story

Reading time: 2 min

Senait caring for a pregnant mother

When fighting reached Sifra on the Tigray border, Senait, along with her family and neighbours, fled for their lives. But, in the chaos and confusion Senait was separated from her mother. Like so many others she was desperate for news of her family but when it came, her heart was broken. 

Her mother had been killed.

36 year old Senait has worked for our partner, the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) for 14 years, in Sifra district, Afar. 

Despite everything that had happened to her, she was determined to get back to Sifra and continue helping those most in need. Sifra is home to the main displacement camp with over 70,000 people living in makeshift shelters constructed from discarded plastic and rubbish. 

Gunfire and rockets can be heard all day; the site is so high risk no other NGO is willing, or able, to work there.

Senait led nine of her team to prioritise pregnant mothers. She cared for three women who miscarried their babies as they arrived at the camp due to shock. Another woman arrived unaccompanied at the camp with nothing, heavily pregnant and starving. Senait cared for her in her own shelter, sharing the little food she had until she was strong enough to travel to APDA’s maternity hospital. Senait went with her to keep her calm in this new place the mother was so frightened of. 

So many women are giving birth in this camp. Senait and her team are assisting as best they can but resources are next to nothing and the nearby hospitals who escaped looting are stretched from the war wounded and there are severe shortages of medicines, oxygen and anaesthetics.

The situation is tragic but without your support Senait and her team wouldn’t be able to be there at all. APDA are driven to reach the forgotten and most isolated, ensuring that someone is there to hold the hands of women in their time of greatest need. These women are the lucky ones. The thought of how many more have yet to be reached is unbearable. 

Please donate today, if you can, so that heroes like Senait can continue to be there for women who need a friendly face and caring hand. Thank you.

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