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Home away from home

August 18, 2011
World Vision and Shelter Box have partnered to provide 5,000 tents for refugees in Dadaab's newly opened camp.

World Vision and Shelter Box have partnered to provide 5,000 tents for refugees in Dadaab's newly opened camp.

Being away from home these past four weeks to work in the Horn of Africa has made me reflect on how different and yet so similar all of us are to one another. While Africa looks nothing like New York City and I am not always sure what I just ate for dinner, people are still people … and there seems to be a common denominator or unifier among all of us.

I spent today talking to Somali refugees who are now living in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. Their stories are incredible. One man, Baaf, just arrived two days ago after walking nearly two weeks from the Mogadishu area near central Somalia. His family of seven has nothing … not even a place to sleep. He says they sleep under the stars.

Then I met another boy … 15-year-old Mohamed from southern Somalia. He and his family of seven had been living in a makeshift hut made of sticks until it blew over several days ago.

15-year-old Mohamed is a Somali refugee who is among the first to arrive in the newest refugee camp of Dadaab that opened today. World Vision provided 5,000 tents. 'I am very happy,' said Mohamed. 'Until now, it was very terrible. We only had sticks to make a home. It blew away two days ago.'

15-year-old Mohamed is a Somali refugee who is among the first to arrive in the newest refugee camp of Dadaab that opened today. "I am very happy," said Mohamed about his new tent. "Until now, it was very terrible. We only had sticks to make a home. It blew away two days ago."

While listening to their stories, I realized how all of us just want a place to call home. We all want a space to call our own that we know will keep us safe and make us feel at ease.

Today I was so excited to get to play a small role in helping provide families like Baaf’s and Mohamed’s that home away from home. World Vision just set up 5,000 high quality tents for refugees in the newest refugee camp to open today. I got to see the first busload of Somalis arrive, smiling and excited because they knew this area that we had been preparing all week was their new home.

My new friend Mohamed didn’t need many words to describe it best when I asked him if he liked his new home any better than where he’d been living. He answered. “Yes, this is good!” Then Mohamed insisted we take a picture together. See … we are all the same … no matter how far away we are from “home.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Massey permalink
    September 1, 2011 7:42 pm

    Mindy, God Bless you for the work that you do in Somalia and other places. I am the Manager at the Family Christian Bookstore in Canton, Georgia. Please know that we pray for you as well as World Vision. Here we have the opportunity to be the voice for the children that need sponsorship. We do our best to sponsor as many children as possible each and every day. We can only help one child at a time. We take our mission here very seriously. To date we have had over 80 children Blessed by sponsorship from our store. Our goal is to double that number as soon as possible. Once again, THANK YOUand GOD BLESS!

  2. Yayan Supriana permalink
    January 18, 2012 7:47 am

    Dear Mindy, My name is Yayan Supriana, and i’m from Indonesia. Many my friend is working as a volunteer at disaster area, but some of them have a problem with a tent for disaster refugees, if World Vision can help with donated some old tent, i’ll be glad to delivered to my friend….Thank you, GOD BLESS YOU..

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