World Refugee Day 2019

A Child is a child

Feven Getachew
19 June 2019

Ethiopia is hosting over 900,000 refugees, 59 per cent of whom are children originating from South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Many have been displaced for decades and have crossed borders in search of peace or a better life, facing deadly dangers and discrimination along the way.

Through the generous support we receive from the British Government through UK Aid, the German Government, the Dutch Government, and Education Cannot Wait (ECW), we are ensuring that refugee children have access to much-needed education, WASH, child protection, nutrition and health services.

On World Refugee Day, here are photographs that show the lives of refugee girls across Ethiopia. 

Harerta Baraki is 13 years old grade 6 grade student at Hitsats Refugee Primary School, Tigray Region
UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Tadesse
Harerta Baraki is 13 years old grade 6 grade student at Hitsats Refugee Primary School, Tigray Region

Harerta Baraki is 13 years old grade 6 grade student at Hitsats Refugee Primary School, Tigray Region 

“I came to the camp when I was 11 years old. My family and I walked for over 6 hrs overnight through Mereb River from Mayne, Eritrea. I am a member of WASH Club in school and I teach my community about environmental and personal hygiene.”

Sabirin Nur, 18, Grade 8 Somali refugee student
UNICEFEthiopia/2019/Ayene

Sabirin Nur, 18, Grade 8 Somali refugee student captain of the volleyball teams, in charge of 10 girls practices with her teammates at the UNICEF supported Melkadida primary school for host community and refugee children. 

“I want to complete my education and to be a [bank] manager. As a female, many of us face challenges with our parents – like forced marriage or relatives trying to get us married. They want us to go home and be wives. For us, the only hope we have is to complete our education and become what we want to be."

Tirhas Meles, 13 is a grade 5 student in Hitsats ARRA Primary School, Shire. Tirhas came to the refugee camp in 2014 from Maymine, Eritrea. Tirhas is a runner in her school and has stood first in the short distance 100m race between refugee and host community students.
UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Tadesse

Tirhas Meles, 13 is a grade 5 student in Hitsats ARRA Primary School, Shire. Tirhas came to the refugee camp in 2014 from Maymine, Eritrea. Tirhas is a runner in her school and has stood first in the short distance 100m race between refugee and host community students. 

“The solidarity game [between local and refugee communities] is my favorite in the school because we compete with 12 different schools. I make new friends and it is a lot fun. I stood 1st on women short distance run. I think I will be a runner if I continue training myself.”

Eighteen-year-old Somali refugee student Sabirin Da’ud Hassan attends Grade 8 at the UNICEF supported Melkadida primary school for host community and refugee children.
UNICEFEthiopia/2019/Ayene

Eighteen-year-old Somali refugee student Sabirin Da’ud Hassan attends Grade 8 at the UNICEF supported Melkadida primary school for host community and refugee children. 

 “I am very happy to continue my education – not just here, but also in high school, so I can become a doctor. I don’t want to go back to Somalia now. It is not safe. I hear it on the media. We have some family there. We don’t know what has happened to them.”

Nya Banytik Hoth, 14, grade 4, learns at Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region.
UNICEF Ethiopia/2018/Mersha

Nya Banytik Hoth, 14, grade 4, learns at Makod Primary and Secondary School in Tierkidi Refugee Camp, Gambella Region. Her favorite subject is English. 

"because wherever I go, I can communicate with the other people. It is very useful.”