"Desperation is growing"

by Judith Kühl/RBU, 2011/08/02

The first mission team of humedica was active in the crisis region at the Ethiopian border to Somalia for a period of two weeks. A picture that tells the story of a desperate mother. A moment that touched us, the entire team, deeply. A fate that unfortunately is no isolated case.

Her mother would have accepted separation in order to safe Little Tikka’s life. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

A mother with her daughter in her arm is standing at the main road of Dolo Addo, five kilometres from the Somalian border. About one-year old Tikka starts crying when she sees us. Her mother only shows a shy smile, tries to meet our eyes. The baby girl cries even louder. She presses her little face, smeared with tears and dust, to her mother’s neck, as if looking for protection.

Her mother beckons us to meet her behind a little hut. She does not want to know any onlookers to know her intentions. We do not speak the same language, communicate with hands and feet. The mother is still smiling. She points her finger at Tikka. We are to take the little girl in our arms.

She pulls out a crumpled banknote from under her T-shirt; it is worth about two or three euros. She waves it in our faces, holds it out to us. She points at the child, then again at the money. Without words, but we nevertheless understand her intention clearly: “Take the child! I will give you my last money if you take her!

We are hit by a dark wave of hopelessness and desperation. Once again the mother holds the child out to us: “Please take her”, says the expression on her face. Tikka is crying louder and louder. It sounds terribly bitter and distressed to us.

The situation of many refugees is desperate. Above all the situation of mothers is absolutely terrible. Without any future perspectives they do not know how they and their children are to survive the famine. It is a matter of life and death. Many families do not manage to take all their children across the border.

Children who get ill die during the flight. Others are abandoned by their parents. They abandon them in the wilderness in order to save themselves or a part of the family.

Our partner of Kindernothilfe, Dietmar Roller, reports from Somalia: “I have spoken to a mother today who set out to escape the draught with four children. She told me: ‘I had to leave three of them by the roadside in order to save one.

Any kind of support is urgently needed in the crisis region around the border of Somalia, both on the Ethiopian and on the Kenyan side. Parents’ are getting more and more hopeless and desperate. The appeal of countless desperate mothers could not be louder: “Help us! I can no longer take care of my child! It will die here!

Please continue supporting our mission. Thank you very much!
      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference „Famine relief Africa
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also make a donation for the people at the Horn of Africa via our online form or by means of sending a text message: send DOC to +49 8 11 90 and support us with a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica relief projects.

Thank you very much for your support and for the responsibility you take. Photo: humedica/Judith Kühl

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