There are three things ten-year-old Pasonata misses since fleeing her home in South Sudan: her school, playing with her cousins and, most of all, her mother. Pasonata and her family are among the thousands of South Sudanese crossing the border to safety in Sudan, often without loved ones who have gone missing or were left behind. 

When gunmen stole Pasonata’s father’s livestock – and with it, his livelihood – her family soon found themselves struggling to survive.

Every month thousands of South Sudanese affected by conflict and famine are making the hard journey to the country’s northern border and crossing into Sudan by foot.

Fearing the increasing numbers of fighter jets in the area and with food becoming scarce, it was decided that Ezekiel would leave first with Pasonata and her little brother Patrick.

“It was very painful to separate the kids from their mother,” Ezekial said, visibly upset.

Pasonata and her little brother Patrick. Their family has been torn apart as a result of the conflict in South Sudan.

After a difficult journey, they arrived at Al Waral refugee site, where they now live. Pasonata has started going to school again but is afraid of what the future might hold. She desperately misses her mother and longs for the day when she can see her again.

I see my mother in my dreams, cleaning the yard of our home, and think of her when I am awake,” she said.

Every day many of Al Waral’s residents wait for new arrivals from South Sudan and ask about family members back home who either went missing or were left behind.

With his family torn apart by circumstances beyond his control, Ezekiel said he will be strong and focus on the future of his family. As he searches for work in order to provide for his children, he does so in the hope that his family will one day be reunited.

Thanks to your support, families like Pasonata’s are provided with emergency nutrition, shelter and water after fleeing conflict and food shortages. UNHCR also supplies them with essential items such as sleeping mats, mosquito nets and basic cooking sets.

Refugee populations are now facing severe food shortages in more than a dozen African countries, as well as in neighbouring Yemen. Learn more about UNHCR’s response, and the life-saving work made possible by you.


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