At the moment, new news about the situation in Tigray reach us daily through the international press. There is still fierce fighting, there have also been air attacks, hunger is great, medical aid for the people there is practically non-existent. Allegedly, the town of Adigrat is now under the control of Eritrean troops, the Ethiopian government army must have had to retreat battered.
Nevertheless, the local Adigrat Vision team manages to provide food (rice and noodles, 10 kg per family) to 160 families from the area around the kindergarten.
The kindergarten - now IDP Center - is now home to 90 people, exclusively mothers with their children. The first baby, a little girl was born there two weeks ago. The women were provided with wool so that they can spend their free time doing handicrafts.
What a good idea!
Before the war, Fortuna had a well-run café in Wukro, a town located about 70 km south of Adigrat. Fortuna is 33 years old, has two children aged 8 and 3. She lives alone with her children without her husband.
In the first days of the war in November 2020, Fortuna was raped by two Eritrean troops in front of her children. The soldiers threatened her that if she did not keep still, they would murder her two children. After being raped several times over many hours, she was unconscious for a long time.
The soldiers looted all of her and her brother's belongings in the house they shared and loaded everything onto trucks.
Fortuna quickly decided to flee to Adigrat with her children. She arrived at a school in Adigrat, where she and her children were taken in. However, there it was cold, dirty and often there was no water. Through food donations from the neighborhood, the displaced people were fed at the school.
Now Fortuna is happy to be at Adigrat Vision's IDP Center. However, she is severely traumatized by what she has experienced and is in urgent need of psychological support. No pregnancy has resulted from the rapes.
War continues in Tigray, with massacres of civilians and brutal rapes. People throughout the region live in fear and hunger, Adigrat is just as affected as the rest of Tigray. Schools and other educational institutions are still closed, only in the regional capital Mekelle they seem to be open again. Information from the region is unfortunately still extremely sparse, as it is very difficult for journalists to get into the country.
For some time now, the association in Munich has had telephone contact with the staff in Adigrat again. At the beginning of May, we even received the first photos via the internet. The kindergarten and the school library have not been damaged or looted. Only the water tanks were dismantled.
We are very happy that the kindergarten buildings have been used as a reception centre for refugee and displaced women with their children for about a week. At the moment, 20 women with a total of 33 children are living in the kindergarten, two mothers are suffering from malaria, one has obstetric fistula, five are minors and at least six of the women have been raped. The kindergarten can accommodate up to 100 people who are displaced from the west of Tigray or fleeing from the nearby mountains where there is always fighting.
The kindergarten staff is very committed to creating a temporary home for these people; mattresses are purchased, cooking is done together and many talks are held with the traumatised women. In addition, the women and children also receive medical care.
For the first time, basic foodstuffs such as noodles, rice and flour were distributed to 119 families of the kindergarten children.
Thus, Adigrat Vision can finally offer concrete help again by creating a safe roof over the head for the particularly needy and by distributing food.