Ahmed and his family of ten walked for two days without any food or water from their home village, Hashaba in northern Darfur to a small camp on the outskirts of the town Mallit, also in northern Darfur. The journey was long and draining, but Ahmed says “my children suffered mostly from lack of water... Hunger they were used to,” he remarks, as he lowers his head in shame. Ahmed fed his children roots and leaves in the hope of sustaining them until they finally reached Al Abbasi Camp, an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.
Upon reaching the camp, the first thing Ahmed did was to register with IOM. He had been informed by a local Sheikh (local leader) that by registering at the camp, he and his family would be eligible to receive assistance from different organizations. But due to the influx of many families like his, accommodation is insufficient and Ahmed’s house is too small to accommodate all 10 people. As a result, some of his family members have to sleep outside in open areas.
Despite his situation and the cramped living conditions, Ahmed and his family prefer their lives in Al Abbasi Camp to the dangers and risks they would have faced daily, had they remained in their home village, Hashaba. Ahmed fondly spoke to camp coordinators about his memories from living in Hashaba village, remembering his home, his neighbors, and the children playing outside.
Upon entering these camps, information about displaced people like Ahmed is collected and shared with other organizations and the government of Sudan to ensure they receive the necessary assistance. Together with the Sudan Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), camp staff register the entire displaced population to ensure that they are immediately eligible for water, food, and other life-saving assistance. In particular, information about very vulnerable individuals such as single parents, unaccompanied children, people with special needs and pregnant women is collected to make sure that they are referred to the specialized organizations that can meet their individual needs.
Ahmed was happy to find some members of the registration team were from his own community. The familiarity meant he felt comfortable to ask questions. After registering, Ahmed is now happy and extremely relieved to be receiving assistance. Ahmed hopes that his situation will improve and sooner or later he will be able to return to his original village and settle back into his home, with his family.