Family Life in the Face of Terrorism

Fadi is a mom just like millions of others around the world - she devotes her life to caring for her five children. She makes sure they are fed, healthy, and educated. She has a lot to worry about on a daily basis, as most moms do, but now she faces a greater challenge she never thought was possible - the threat of terrorist violence.

Fadi lives in Niger, the poor West African nation that has been inundated with the brutality of one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups, Boko Haram. Not only does she now fear for her children’s safety from the bombings and kidnappings that make worldwide headlines, she struggles with the economic consequences of living under the constant threat of an unpredictable terrorist organization.

“Life is no longer what it used to be,” said Fadi. “We used to be a happy family. We used to live a peaceful life and were able to provide for our children’s various needs within our means. But now, it is chaos all around us.”

The violence and fear have resulted in strict curfews and market closures, causing instability for families like Fadi’s. Her husband used to support the family of seven by selling goods at the local markets in the area. For the past eight months, he hasn’t been able to sell anything.

“Our kids can no longer attend school peacefully,” she added.

Insecurity and population movements in the Lake Chad basin have led to the closure of 151 schools in the region, 74 of which have been relocated to allow some of the students to pursue their education.

With so much uncertainty in her life, Fadi said the one thing she doesn’t worry about is access to medications. She lives 25 miles from Kirker Hospital, a facility supported by International Relief Teams for the past eight years.

“A couple of weeks ago, I brought two of my children to Kirker Hospital because they were suffering from infection, and they received excellent care. The antibiotics they received were better quality than what we used to buy on the black market. My children recovered quickly and are healthy."  

Last year, we shipped more than 8.2 million dollars’ worth of medicines to support Kirker Hospital and its 28 satellite health centers. These medicines treat tremors, angina, hypertension and other heart and circulatory conditions, and viral infections, as well as coughs, colds, pain, asthma, and diabetes and makeup half of all the medicines at the hospital

While violence from Boko Haram continues to terrorize the region, more refugees will seek sanctuary in Niger and further strain the limited resources and over-worked medical personnel. These medications are critical to ease human suffering and save lives, as they have for Fadi and her family.

Project reference: