Abdalle is a Somali refugee welcomed by ALWS partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Djibouti. Despite her suffering, she fosters two orphaned children.
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It was a hard time during the war. I walked from Somalia in 2009 when [terrorists] Al Shabaab came. They take your property, they will kill you.
[Before that] I was a housewife. My husband was a farmer. We had a big farm, but they took it. We grew maize, tomatoes, green peppers, mangoes, pawpaws and other vegetables. They were happy times.
[After the war came] we lived in misery. I had six children who died of sickness. There were droughts and this contributed to hunger.
My husband was lost during the war. When I remember, I start to cry. I have seen people shot in front of me. We had to leave to save our lives.
I remember we were running for 10 days and nights. Some people were dying in the street, some were giving birth and some fainted in fear.
When we reached the border [with Djibouti], UNHCR met us. We were there for 16 days. I felt such happiness. When I saw the camp, I felt I could start living again. We received plastic sheets for shelter, mats and utensils. LWF gave us a water container and solar lamp. They also gave me a goat. We sold the milk and bred goats. Now we have three goats.
When I compare what I fled from to what I saw when I arrived, I see peace is very important.
I have seen many children who have no father or mother, and the condition they live in through war, and so I take them in. As my life is saved, so I want to save them.
Now I work cleaning a school to earn a living. We still don’t have enough food, but what we receive, we eat together.
Education is important so children can become self-sufficient. I have seen so many problems. I wish for my children to have a better life.
I did not know I would receive support, so I am grateful to LWF.
On 4 July more than 160 people will walk 26 kilometres from the Adelaide Hills to the suburbs following the trail Lutheran pioneer women took in the 1840s to market. Walkers are making the trek in the ALWS fundraiser Walk My Way to raise money to help refugee children go to school … children of people like Abdalle.
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