By Sylvia Nabanoba
I spent the whole of last week covering the South Sudan refugees arriving in Uganda for Save the Children Uganda.
One day, Elegu Refugee Collection Point at the border with South Sudan in Adjumani had a few hundred people, the next day, it was overflowing with thousands, to the extent that at one point the gate had to be closed so that the thousands inside could first be relocated to Nyumanzi reception centre before the hundreds waiting outside could be let in.
Watching the mothers with babies strapped on their backs, heavy loads on their heads, several little ones running behind, I tried to place myself in their shoes. I already knew which of mine would be strapped on my back if the tables were turned. I thought of my home – what would I take, and what would I leave? Would I even have the time to pack?
Seeing a blind man led by a boy barely three years old, elderly people sitting in the scorching heat mumbling to themselves, children wailing before their helpless mothers – I would look away so they didn’t see the tears in my eyes. The composition of the people was a wake-up call for me. The poor and well-to-do, educated and uneducated were all together, in this one place, suffering the same plight. The comfort of their homes forgotten, their lives put on hold. A young man carrying his daughter said, “We don’t deserve this.”
They certainly don’t, and no human being does. But war affects everyone.
Let’s pray for South Sudan.
Sylvia Nabanoba is the Communications manager, Save the Children Uganda