Stories: Refugees

  • Stalled

    Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania – Nana Mint Cheybani has abandoned the thought of going back to Mali. Life in Mbera refugee camp, on the southeast corner of Mauritania, a desert country on the coast of West Africa, is tough. Tensions between refugees and locals regularly flare up over access to local resources and the camp suffers from chronic underfunding. ...

  • Refugees in Mauritania in lonely fight for mental health care

    MBERA REFUGEE CAMP, Mauritania – As tens of thousands of refugees from Mali remain displaced in this expansive camp, families are growing increasingly concerned by a lack of support for their mental health and well-being. Humanitarian groups working in Mbera refugee camp say a lack of funds and expertise makes providing care for survivors of trauma and violence difficult, especially...

  • An uneasy coexistence in the Mauritanian desert

    Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania - It is often difficult to know where the sprawling Mbera refugee camp ends, and the desolate, desert communities of southeastern Mauritania begin. Both spring up almost unexpectedly from the mounds of orange sand and shrubs: tents made from tarps fastened to curved tree branches, animal pens, and the odd mud-brick, tin or aluminium structure. ...

  • Syrian refugees in Mauritania dream of resettlement

    NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania – Mohamad Mudar Oulabie knows he doesn't have many choices. But after almost five years in Mauritania, an impoverished and isolated country on the coast of West Africa, the 52-year-old father of four is becoming increasingly frustrated. Today, making an irregular crossing to Europe, despite numerous dangers, is on his mind. "That's the last resort," Oulabie...

  • You’re welcome to visit the longest beach in the world — unless you’re a refugee

    It was a hot Saturday in May when Bangladesh’s prime minister dipped her feet in the ocean. Sheikh Hasina was visiting the beach town of Cox’s Bazar and, like anyone else, she wanted to take a barefoot stroll. The beach runs unbroken along the Bay of Bengal for 75 miles, enough to make it the world&rsquo...

  • Fighting the Scourge of Xenophobia in South Africa

    It is death by a thousand cuts – the small injustices that add up, one after another. It’s the cruel nurse, the rude admitting staff, the names called out of a passing car. For the thousands of African refugees living in South Africa, it’s a fact of life. It’s hard to describe South...

  • A Perilous Journey to Freedom

    The first time Eva escaped from North Korea, she nearly drowned. As she waded across the Yalu River that marks the border between North Korea and China, the water came up almost to her mouth, and the harsh and cold current almost swept her off her feet. She couldn’t swim. She was 13 years old. Image: From...

  • Colombia Peace Deal Update: Refugees Displaced by Violence Say They’ll Never Return

    A group of Ecuadorian children surrounded Yesenia’s 6-year-old daughter in the playground, taunting her. They pushed her face into the ground. “Dirty Colombian,” they said. "Go back to your country." It was just one of many incidents of bullying that her children, all under the age of 13, have faced at school since...

  • Indonesians Got Help After the Tsunami. Now They Want to Help Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees.

    Refugees are not always met with open arms, but when some 1,800 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants came ashore in the Indonesian province of Aceh three months ago, villagers brought them food and clean clothes. The popular singer Rafly even held a welcoming concert. In fact, Rafly, who is also a lawmaker, has been lobbying colleagues in Jakarta to let them stay. ...

  • Desperate for Food, Mindanao Villagers Want to Return Home

    Dina Yusef points to some rice and a few cans of sardines – all she has left to feed her four children and husband nearly a month after they fled their Philippines village when soldiers cleared the area in their search for armed Muslim rebels. "I want to go home because we don't have food,” Yusef told the...