They fled with children in tow, carrying with them little more than the recent memories of violence and persecution. Three mothers – Nyapeni, Jacqueline, and Mukabera – walked for days with their children to reach refugee camps, only to face a threat of a different kind.
Malaria is often the leading cause of death in refugee settlements throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. But thanks to supporters of Nothing But Nets, these mothers each received insecticide-treated bed nets that protect their entire family from the disease. In partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Nothing But Nets has distributed over 2 million bed nets to refugee settlements throughout Africa. You can read more about these three incredible women below.
Last year, 20-year-old Nyapeni fled South Sudan with her husband while she was pregnant. “I was afraid I was going to have my baby while we were walking toward Ethiopia,” she said. The couple found safety in Ethiopia’s Nguenyyiel Camp, where Nyapeni went into labor just days later. She and the baby are both healthy. And thanks to Nothing But Nets contributors, the family sleeps safely under bed nets, giving them peace of mind during this difficult time.
In 2015, Jacqueline, her husband, and two children fled violence in their native Burundi and settled at Nduta Camp in Tanzania, one of the world’s largest refugee settlements (125,000 population). Upon arrival, UNHCR provided them with a family shelter that was equipped with mosquito nets, thanks to the support of Nothing But Nets. “Getting this shelter was so nice,” she says. “I worried about the children catching diseases and illness.” Having lived in the camp for three years, Jacqueline and her family remain resilient and take solace in being safe and healthy. “Here we are together as a family,” she says.
Mukabera, 45 years old, is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which she fled in 1998. She lives in Bwagiriza camp in Burundi with her children. Like many other refugees in the camp, Mukabera and her family have received insecticide-treated bed nets from UNHCR, through the support of Nothing But Nets. “I had never thought that I could do two to four months or more without falling sick of malaria. Since I use this mosquito net with my children, we do not get sick ... and my children are studying very well at school without any problem.”