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Helping Refugees fight Fear and Poverty: Case of Chad

Did you know that Africans can make an impact on the lives of refugees by empowering them?

Instead of relying most of the time on aid from foreign donors, which they will have to send every time to help African refugees we could help them fight poverty and fear in our own way.

Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than 26 per cent of the world’s refugee population. Over 18 million people in this region are of concern to UNHCR. That number has soared in recent years, partly due to ongoing crises in the Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and South Sudan. It has also grown as a result of new conflicts erupting in Burundi and Yemen.

Let us have a look at what Chad is doing for refugees. Chadians refer to them as family, while they help them fight fear and poverty.

Fleeing a fresh wave of violence and killings in Central African Republic, tens of thousands of refugees have sought safety across the border in southern Chad.

Leila Hawa Ousmane, 30, arrived in Chad in August. Her husband was killed in the fighting back home in Central African Republic. Since arriving, she has set up her own hairdressing and beauty business in Diba 2 village

Once there, living in tarpaulin tents or makeshift shelters of wood and straw, many have set up small businesses in their local host villages, in order to make a living.

With a fresh influx of refugees from Central African Republic over the past year, a busy roadside market has been established, frequented both by Chadians and refugees.

The majority of Central African Republic refugees in southern Chad are women and children. Many of their husbands were killed in the fighting back home, while others have become separated from their families during the scramble to flee. As part of their new lives, the women are doing sewing and embroidery together in a tent, producing pieces they will sell to earn an income.

Donatien Dillah (left, white shirt)

According to Thomson Reuters Foundation News, these refugees even help one another, among them is Donatien Dillah, a refugee from Central African Republic who used to work for the British aid group Save the Children, he has set up a disabled persons’ association for locals and refugees from Diba and nearby villages.

Some of the refugees have become health aids in the local health centre.

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