Eritrean single mother finds refuge in Sudan

NEWS | 09 February 2018

Shagarab I Camp, 24 January 2018 – Alganesh (40) fled her hometown in Eritrea with two of her children and only one bag on her shoulders. She did not feel safe, after her husband and eldest son were arrested for being members of a banned social group. “I left to protect my children,” she said, “I want to be able to raise them without fear of arrest.”

They travelled mostly on foot and at night, guided by an Eritrean man from her community through their long and risky journey. Once they reached Kassala, Sudan, the Commissioner for Refugees (COR), in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, transferred them to the nearby reception centre in Wad Sharifey Camp, where they received hot meals, blankets and soaps.

In less than a day, the family, was transported to the main reception centre in Shagarab I camp. “I felt safe when I arrived in Shagarab camps. I felt that everything would be ok,” reflected Alganesh.

Within two months, COR, the Government of Sudan’s agency responsible for the registration and refugee status determination (RSD), recognized Alganesh and her children as refugees. She received a refugee ID card and a photo slip document for her and her children. “The registration process did not take long, and I am happy that I got my documents. It makes me feel protected,” explained Alganesh, holding her refugee card closely.

The European Union’s (EU) generous support through its Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDDP) has allowed UNHCR to provide safe reception and dignified asylum conditions in East Sudan for almost 10,000 persons like Alganesh and her family, who fled their home countries with a fear of persecution.

Today, Alganesh is hopeful that with the documentation she received, she will be able to find education opportunities for her children, and live in safety and dignity in Sudan.

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