'I am still afraid now'

Friday 14 February 2014

When fighting started near Mabior’s home in Bor he ran out of his house with his parents and his four brothers and three sisters.

It was late at night and Mabior had been sleeping before they fled their home so he took nothing with him, including any clothes.

 Mabior talking with SC staff. Photo Mackenzie Knowles-Courson/Save the Children

Mabior began running with his parents but he ran very fast and fell and cut his lip. In the chaos he lost sight of his parents and his siblings, but he kept running following the groups of other people until he got to the banks of the river where his uncle who brought him across found him by boat to Awerial.

He sad, “When we were attacked I ran very fast and then I fell down and injured my lip.

“I don’t know what has happened to my mother. I saw my parents running so I ran too but I ran very fast until I fell and I injured myself, and then I lost my parents and my uncle found me. I have three sisters and four brothers, but they are all with my mother.

“I was afraid when we had to leave our home that is why I ran so fast that I fell and hurt myself. I am still afraid now.”

The violence that has spread across South Sudan has displaced more than 800,000 people, 84,000 of whom are, like Mabior, living in the bush in Awerial with little access to food, healthcare, shelter or clean water.

Mabior is now living under a tree with his uncle and aunt and their seven children. He has not heard from his parents but his uncle thinks that they may still be on the other side of the river or on one of the islands in the middle of the river, where an unknown number of people are believed to still be sheltering.

Mabior was not going to school when he was at home but now dreams of starting school when he is able to go back so that he has the chance for a better future.

He said, “I would like to go to school. I wasn’t going to school when I was at home but I want to go now. I learned a lot when we were attacked so now I want to study and then I will be able to take care of myself.”

Save the Children is working to help vulnerable children like Mabior who have become separated from their parents. To date we are helping more than 1,000 such children. Mabior is part of our Family Tracing and Reunification programme and we are making sure that he has access to clothes, food and healthcare, but what he really wants is to be reunited with his mother as soon as possible.