Sheltering Refugees on the Banks of Lake Chad

5 July 2019

Abdou lives with his wife and children in a camp in Chad.

Thirty-year old Abdou lives with his wife and three children in a camp in Chad. He left the village of Loulou in the islands of the Lake Chad Region with his family following violent attacks from Boko Haram. Every single person from his village fled.

Before the attacks, Abdou was a fisherman and took pride in caring for his family. “I am head of the family. I used to be a great fisherman. I came from a family of fishermen and I had to do this activity to support myself and my little family.”

But when Boko Haram began recruiting young children to carry out kamikaze attacks, Abdou’s lifestyle was altered forever. “Many of the young people like me were taken by force, and they began brainwashing them to do these actions.” Abdou was not one of the young people forcibly taken and brainwashed, but the influence of Boko Haram still affected him. “The situation had become more and more unstable because they burned all our fishing equipment and we could no longer earn money. I lost everything.”

“Sometimes the youths who were recruited into Boko Haram slaughtered the people of my village. We had to save our lives, so we escaped. We searched for refuge and had been welcomed here in this camp.”

When Abdou arrived at the camp in Chad, he received a shelter kit from Latter-day Saint Charities and ShelterBox. The kit included a tent, mosquito netting, a kitchen set, and other sanitation materials.

Abdou and his family are grateful for the useful aid items they received. “My family, especially my wife, is relieved for the kitchen set.” Before the kit, Abdou and his family had only a small pot that they used to do everything. He explains, “In view of my current situation, since I do not practice fishing, I do not have any money for essential kits like these. I hope to be able to resume my work as a fisherman soon to be able to earn money to meet other needs. I thank ShelterBox and Latter-day Saint Charities for thinking about me and my family.”

Photos and Story provided by Shelterbox