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East Africa Famine: Barey’s journey

Barey and her children
Barey and her children

When Barey Oyo arrived at Morudile, Ethiopia, she had been walking for 15 days straight, six months pregnant and with six children. Covering a distance of over 112 miles from Somalia, her family trekked through difficult and dangerous terrain with no food or water.

Barey started her journey from her hometown of Wajid district of Somalia after the worst drought and civil war left her unable to feed her family. Although she did not know what her family was going to face during the journey to Morudile, Barey had hope that her family would survive. She said, “I only know the name of the place ‘Morudile’ when we started the journey. But we were praying to get something to eat and drink.”

The family joined a group of migrants travelling in search of food. During the journey, the family had to negotiate difficult terrain, through tree roots and wild leaves. The biggest challenge for Barey was keeping pace with the rest of her family and other migrants, due to her pregnancy. “It was too difficult for me to move at times. My husband and other people with me were forced to shoulder me. Without their help I could not arrive here", she said. 

After arriving in Morudile district, Barey’s family, like the other 2,200 refugees who have settled here, received assistance from the local community. SOS Children are one of very few non-governmental organizations operating in this area. In the past week, SOS Children have provided food for 600 refugees and 400 local households unable to afford the spiraling costs of food. However, families continue to arrive in Morudile, and there is simply not enough to go around.

This shortage of resources has left the survival of Barey’s family and the other refugees uncertain. Despite this uncertainty, Barey believes that the most challenging days of her life are over. She is grateful for the treatment she has received from the community and humanitarian organizations and is optimistic that she will deliver her child safely in three months’ time. SOS Children will continue to provide Barey and her family with weekly provisions of food.

How you can help

You can make a one-off donation directly to our Emergency Relief Programme, or take out a child sponsorship to help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them as a result of the famine.