Some readers may find this story upsetting
‘My name is Ume. I’m 27. Three weeks ago, I had a husband and four children. Today, I have two children.’
Ume is a Rohingya refugee. Like more than half a million others, she was forced to flee her home in Myanmar. Having survived the awful trauma of losing most of her family, she made it across the border into Bangladesh. Now, she’s desperately trying to find her way to a refugee camp.
‘Three weeks ago, our village was attacked,’ Ume says. ‘My husband was decapitated. My house was burnt to the ground. My cattle were decimated. While fleeing, I lost two of my children... suddenly they were nowhere to be seen. I do not know if they are dead or alive.
‘I had no money with me, no belongings. I paid a boatman to take us upriver by giving him my nose ring because I had nothing else. We spent the day in the boat. Then we walked 17 days and we arrived here.’
Hope and pray
Ume’s mother also fled with Ume and her two young children. ‘We arrived here yesterday,’ she says. ‘We don’t know the country, don’t know the language, but we were told that in a refugee camp we could probably get a shelter and some food.’
With barely any food during the past 18 days, Ume and her family don’t even have the energy to beg. There’s no way of getting in touch with relatives to find out about their loved ones – they can only hope and pray they are still alive.
Tearfund’s local partner in Bangladesh has been responding to the crisis since it began. Now, with the situation becoming ever more desperate, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which Tearfund is a part, has launched an emergency appeal to help people like Ume.
Through our partner, we’re providing life-saving hygiene kits and medical care. We’ll be there after the cameras have left and the news has moved on, working with our local partners to help the most vulnerable. Please continue to stand with people like Ume in prayer.
Desperate families like Ume's urgently need your help. Please give what you can today.
- Pray for people like Ume who have lost loved ones in the horrific violence in Myanmar. Pray that the Lord of comfort, peace and healing will be with them.
- Pray that the violence will come to an end and that those who have been forced to leave will be able to return home.
- Pray that the DEC appeal will raise the funds required to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. Lift up the work of our partners in Bangladesh and pray for God to strengthen them.
Ume’s story used courtesy of Medair
Photos: ©Medair\Nath Fauveau
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