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Hear Our Voices - Eritrea

Freweini wants to cope on her own

 My name is Freweini Habtom. I am 30 years old and a mother of two children. I lost my left eye and wounded my right hand, which is now useless and painful. It happened during a bombing raid at the height of the Ethiopian-Eritrea border war in February 1999. The bombings killed my two-year old daughter and injured my eight-year old daughter. I am now disabled. I cannot fetch water or collect wood or do ordinary household things. Nor can I afford to buy water or wood. I do not have grown up children who could help me; and my husband is away in the army under the National Service Programme. I get assistance from relatives and neighbours when I am in trouble. Previously, we had cattle, but now we’ve none, as all were looted during the war or starved to death due to drought. Therefore, my children and I are making our living on food aid only. We have no other means of living.

Freweini and her family live in Kotobia, one of the IDP and Expellees Camps in Eritrea. They were expelled at the beginning of the war between the Eritrea and Ethiopia from their home, Bagony-Tigray (Ethiopia), a place where they had lived all their lives. Having lost everything, Freweine is grateful for the food and other assistance she is receiving. But her fervent wish is to be independent and able to provide for her own family. She hopes for some support to start a small income-generating project. That’s what would make her most happy, if as she says herself, “we could get some small credit or grant to stand on our own.”
 

Photo: OCHA

 

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