Joy as a refugee family is reunited in Uganda

Published: 7 April 2014 14:04 CET

Susan Onyango, IFRC

Yom Aganyi, is a widowed mother of four children ranging in age from 4 to 20 years. She has no recollection of when she left her home town of Bor following violence that broke out in South Sudan nearly four months ago. She managed to escape with three of her children, reaching the Nyumanzi transit centre in late January.

Her eldest daughter, Mary Achol, 20, was away from home at the time. Yom’s husband was killed in the violence, leaving her to fend for their children. Through the Uganda Red Cross Society, Yom was able to place a free call to Mary to inform her of her whereabouts.

Although Mary has no memory of how she found her way to Uganda, she was only too happy to reunite with her mother and siblings at the transit centre where they had been eagerly waiting for her.

“I travelled with people I did not know,” said Mary. “We completely lost track of days and survived on anything we could lay our hands on, including wild fruits and fish from the River Nile.”

“We are thankful to the Uganda Red Cross for reuniting our family. Although my husband is no more, I am happy to be with all my children,” said Yom. “We look forward to moving to the settlement camp to start rebuilding our lives.”

The family leaves quickly, anxious not to be left behind as other refugees were already boarding a truck to take them to their new homes.

The Red Cross response to the refugee influx could not be possible without the continued dedication of its teams of volunteers. Next week on, you will meet Freda Kajoki Igga, a 28 year old who began volunteering as a young child, and learn what keeps her motivated to keep giving.