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South Sudan: A Day In The Life Of Umjima

Conflict in Sudan has sent a wave of refugees pouring across the border into South Sudan. A mother of seven children, Umjima Yacob is one of them. Here's a look at a day in her life.

Meet Umjima Yacob, a 32-year-old mother of seven, who fled her home to escape the conflict in Sudan. She's one of more than 110,000 refugees receiving life-saving WFP food assistance in South Sudan's Upper Nile State. We spent a day with Umjima at Gendressa, one of the refugee camps along the border.

"I had to flee my home in Sudan several months ago when a plane dropped bombs over our village. The children and I were so scared. We left and walked for weeks before we reached the refugee settlements in South Sudan."  

"I am grateful that my husband is finally with us. He was a cattle farmer and he decided to stay behind to take care of the cattle. But even the animals were taken from him shortly after I left so he joined us and now lives with us in the camp."

"Until it is safe to go back to our village, this tent is our home. Here, we receive assistance from many humanitarian organisations, and we don’t have to be afraid for our lives."  

"Every morning, I prepare food for my family. We receive the food during distributions that happen once a month."  

"Every month, I come to the distribution point of the camp and WFP and its partners provide me with sorghum, peas, oil and salt. It is enough to last me, my husband and our seven children until the next distribution." 

"Life is tough but we are happy to be alive and grateful for the help that we get." 

"We abandoned most of our belongings when we escaped the conflict. I sometimes think about the things we left behind while I do the laundry. But we manage with what we’ve got. We hope that things will get better soon."  

"I love my children. I could never stop taking care of them regardless of all the hardship we are going through. I am glad also glad that the younger ones – Ramada, Ferida, and Huda - also get special assistance from those who are helping us. When we arrived at the camp, they were weak and frail. I was very worried about them."

"Every two weeks I go with them to a nutrition centre for a check-up. I also receive special foods for them. Only a month after we began visiting the clinic I could already see the difference." 

"They seem much livelier now, and I'm told they're getting healthier!" 


All photos are by WFP/Philipp Herzog

"We are also advised to take care of our health by drinking safe water. It can be exhausting but it is important that the family stays healthy."