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Mulu’s resilience: A refugee’s journey of hope and strength

We are shedding light on the experiences of those who have been displaced by conflict and turmoil.

Experiences like those of Mulu, a resilient 30-year-old woman from Abderafi, Ethiopia. Her life has been marred by violence and loss, but through her unwavering strength, she offers a glimpse into the hardships faced by refugees and the hope that their stories can inspire.

Mulu vividly remembers the life she once had in her hometown of Abderafi. It was a life of simple pleasures and hard work, but all that changed in an instant when conflict broke out.

“Back home, I saw things no one should ever witness; bombs exploding, people dying, friends and family torn apart,” says Mulu, her voice wavering as she recalls the traumatic events. “It was unimaginably hard.”

Mulu’s husband, a soldier, did his best to protect her. In light of the danger surrounding them, they made the difficult decision to flee together. Their journey was fraught with danger. “Soldiers held a knife to my husband. We witnessed his friends being killed in front of us. The horror was beyond anything you can imagine,” she shares.

Resilience in the face of loss

Now living in a refugee camp in Sudan, Mulu is adapting to a life she never thought she would be living. In the face of these daunting challenges, she has shown remarkable resilience. Adding a extra layer of complexity to Mulu’s daily life in the camp is the fact that she suffers with mobility issues, leaving her unable to walk long distances. Mulu falls frequently, which makes using shared facilities in the camp, such as latrines, incredibly difficult.

Mulu lives in the camp with her husband, Ahmed*, but has also taken a 16-year-old orphan under her wing. ” Life in the camp is tolerable but leaving my family behind… that’s something I struggle with daily,” she says. “Even though I am disabled and face my own set of challenges, my heart and thoughts are with them.”

The separation from her family came after bombs began raining down on her village. “Everyone ran in separate directions… that’s when we got lost. My father, a soldier, didn’t make it. I am not sure where my mother and siblings are. The uncertainty keeps me awake at night.”

Mulu speaks with gratitude of the support delivered by Islamic Relief, especially their door-to-door delivery services. These services have been a lifeline, allowing her to avoid difficult and potentially dangerous trips for essentials.

“Islamic Relief Ethiopia has been an absolute blessing. They’ve provided cooking pots, utensils, a boiler, plates, and hygiene kits.”

Global crisis

Mulu’s story echoes the reality for many refugees worldwide. The UN Refugee Agency reports that a staggering 68.5 million individuals have been displaced, nearly 25.4 million of whom are refugees. Displacement, often triggered by conflict and climate change, predominantly affects developing nations, stretching their resources and intensifying vulnerabilities.

“Many displaced individuals lack basic necessities, such as shelter, healthcare, education, and means of livelihood,” says Aman Soufi, Islamic Relief’s Humanitarian Advisor.

“Mulu’s story underscores this harrowing reality. It highlights the injustice that prevents refugees from living with dignity. This is a humanitarian crisis that demands attention and action, particularly from wealthier nations.”

Islamic Relief’s response to refugees and displaced people extends beyond just meeting immediate needs for food, water and shelter. We also focus on advocating for sustainable peace and security. We are committed to addressing the underlying issues causing displacement, including conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

As we stand in unity #withrefugees, Islamic Relief continues its efforts to support people like Mulu. We provide essential aid while fostering resilience and social cohesion. However, more must be done.

You can join our efforts to ensure refugees like Mulu can lead dignified lives. You can make a difference by signing and sharing the #withrefugees petition and donating to Islamic Relief.

*Name changed to protect identity

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