After a long and hard journey, Mohammed has been reunited with his family, a moment that should be a time of joy. But it is taking place in Dadaab refugee camp in East Africa, where new arrivals have little hope of returning to their country in the near future. His family has lost everything it had and is now having to adapt to their new circumstances in order to survive. Handicap International is helping to make this tough transition easier for elderly people who are not able to move around by themselves.
Mohammed has just arrived in Dadaab where he has been reunited with his sons. His eldest son, Omar, explains how his family decided to leave simply because it was their only choice: “It was too dangerous in our country. And now there’s a drought. This year we lost all of our cattle. We are cattle breeders and when you lose your cattle you loose your livelihood. Our father has been ill and weak for over a year now. It is impossible to get treatment at home.”
Omar has no idea where the other members of his family are and he does not know how long he will have to stay in Dadaab camp: “We’re worried now. We’ve lost everything and it will be very difficult for us to go home. What can we use to rebuild our lives? When will the fighting stop?”
The road has been long and hard for Mohammed. His family found a way of getting him across the Kenyan border at Liboi, where he was received by UNHCR in a state of extreme exhaustion and transported directly to Dagahale hospital in Kenya. Like everyone claiming refugee status, Mohammed now needs to register with the Kenyan and UN authorities.
This can be a long and tiring process for people already suffering great distress. Due to the growing number of refugees, people often have to wait a month between arriving at the camp and registration. Mohammed is not able to move around alone and hardly ever speaks. He is so exhausted that he needs his son to hold his head up. Handicap International is helping with his registration process by providing him with guidance and support to ensure that each stage takes as little time as possible. If everything goes to plan, Mohammed will be registered before the end of the day. He will then be able to join his family inside the camp.
He will be monitored by Handicap International’s teams who will ensure he has access to food and water and that he gets enough support from his family to meet his needs inside the camp. These teams will quickly check if he has specific needs that could be met by our specialists in the field.