She didn’t have much but lost it all: the heartbreaking story of a conflict survivor in Ethiopia

By CARE Australia February 22, 2019 0 comments

No country saw more people flee their homes because of conflict in 2018 than Ethiopia. In just six months, 1.4 million people lost their homes to violence.

Almaz (40) recalls the heartbreaking moments her life changed forever when the fighting came to her village.

“It was evening when all of a sudden we heard gunshots and people screaming,” Almaz says. “We realised something was wrong when we looked outside and saw people fleeing. My husband went outside to look.”

That was the last time Almaz saw her husband, who was killed by the attackers. Almaz immediately grabbed her children and fled, escaping to the nearest village.

“We went to an abandoned school building where people were gathering. It became our new home for the next three months.”

“My heart shattered as my son brought back the body of his father. But the most difficult day was yet to come. Unable to cope with his father’s loss, my 23-year-old son committed suicide just a week after we had left our home and old lives behind. When I heard about this, a part of me died as well.”

“I would give everything to go back to the days when things were normal. I don’t know how I can survive without him.”

“I feel so much pain inside of me. I want my other children to go to school but I can only afford to send one of them. I am weak and I depend on help from aid organisations now. I see no future for us.”

CARE has reached more than 60,000 displaced people in Ethiopia like Almaz, providing them with blankets and mattresses, and improving water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in makeshift camps and host communities.

The silent displacement of one million people in Ethiopia is one of the 10 most under-reported crises of the last year. Read about the other nine here.

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