Somali IDP Camp

It was my first time to an IDP camp. I had never heard of the term ‘IDP’ (Internally Displaced People) until this trip to the horn of Africa. I learned that IDPs were people who have fled their homes because of a life-threatening issue. In this case that life-threatening issue was famine. As I walked through the dirt patch of land, littered with trash and debris, I observed the people’s living spaces; nothing more than sticks woven together with tattered cloth material draped over the top. In one of these dilapidated structures that the people called their homes, I noticed a mother holding the malnourished, skeletal frame of her dying little girl. I stopped to see the condition of this child and the mother began to plead with me. I couldn’t understand her cry spoken in her native language until a man accompanying me translated her words, “Help us, help us. Please come back and help us.” Throughout the camp I found stories of starvation everywhere. I went to another camp. Then another. Then another. The conditions were the same in all of them. Children starving because they had no food to eat.

-Benjamin Church, on his first trip to a Somalia in August 2011

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