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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

Get the latest updates from our programs in the field internationally and here in the United States.  

Irene: a South Sudanese Refugee Mother

by Katie Carroll | Jun 30, 2014

According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 650,000 South Sudanese people have become refugees as a result of the ongoing conflict. Thanks to your generosity, MTI is working in clinics in Uganda to help serve these refugees, a majority of which are women and children.  Because of you, we are able to provide desperately-needed medical care to people who have lost almost everything.

Meet Irene, a refugee and the mother of an infant. She was nine months pregnant when she fled her home in Boro after fighting broke out, leaving behind all of her possessions, friends and family. Her husband is a soldier still in South Sudan, fighting. Her parents are dead. She has no way to provide for herself.

adjumani-refugee-camp-medical-care
Irene and her infant Narene, whose name means "running away during war."

 

Shortly after she arrived to the transit center in January, she went into labor.  Thanks to you, MTI has a clinic in Adjumani, so she was able to have her child safely. She is back at the clinic on this day for her baby's immunizations. Her daughter is named Narene, which means "running away during war." When asked what challenges she struggles with, Irene says that she misses her husband, that there are no trees for her shelter, and - although she's living in the camp with a plot - she doesn't have tools to create a garden. Gardening at the camps is something everyone does as a way of survival.

When asked if she wants to return back to her home in South Sudan, she said she would like to stay in the camp because it's safer for her and her child.

When asked if her friends and family are here with her, Irene says simply, "when you're fleeing, you focus on saving yourself." She's reunited with many people, but many she has not seen since she left.

Your support has touched the lives of Irene and Narene.  Thank you for providing them with critical care.

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