“The day we don’t hear gunshots at night, will be a strange day for us”

This Mother’s Day we approached a close friend of the charity, a Darfuri woman, and asked if her Mum (still in Darfur) would like to feature in our newsletter as a special contributor focusing on our year-long Darfur20 campaign.
It’s not easy to reach her Mum. Calling cards must be purchased. £5 just about gives you 18 or 19 minutes of call time. Networks are unstable and Mum doesn’t have WhatsApp. Sometimes Mum’s phone is out of battery and remains switched off until she is able to charge the phone. 10 days or 2 weeks can fly by before connection is made.
For a daughter whose Mum is her 'jannah' (heaven), waiting between calls is an anxious time. Unable to speak spontaneously about daily happenings or catch up in depth on the kids, family, and hopes and dreams, time is precious.
We are grateful to this daughter and mother for agreeing to share their incredibly limited time together, over a series of months, to feature their conversations in this Mother’s Day special edition newsletter. What none of us could have imagined was the outcome over the course of these conversations. Questions asked by the daughter elicited new understanding, deeper connection of culture and family, and of course a perspective of life before and after 2003 as told from her Mum’s perspective.
We invite you join us into a private conversation between a mother and daughter from Darfur. An extract of this blog is below, but please read it in full.

Deep breath (I wish the past would come back)

We are at the point where we don’t feel safe from everything around us, which is very sad.

War started and took everything nice with it, from peace, quiet, comfort, simplicity, to happiness and joy.

We became strangers to each other. Everything changed, even people’s behaviour and attitudes and there is nothing but fear and sadness.

Villages have been destroyed, innocent people killed, farms and cattle burned.

Every beautiful image has gone. Overnight in a short time people ended up without houses, without family.

Men and women became widows, and children are orphaned.

When the attack happened to us, our day started and ended with gunshots, smoke from the burning villages, and the screams of women and children.

People are still in camps waiting for food from aid organisations. In the past they were self-sufficient and had stable lives.

Social life is destroyed, no collaboration, no unity, no checking on each other, and no gathering and helping in activities.

Simply happiness has gone.

Peaceful life? That is a dream dear daughter. Now if you travel to the local area you might not come back. You may be robbed, injured.

At night don’t even think to go out, all the movement should be in the daytime so you can see people. In the darkness of night there is much danger.

Children have become labourers to help their families instead of going to school or having a normal life.

Old people reflect on their past life and compare it with the situation now, then end up crying.

The day we don’t hear gunshots at night, will be a strange day for us.

This is the situation now in Darfur and it’s been the same for the last 20 years.

How much longer will this continue?

We help families - mothers and daughters or sons, siblings, grandparents - rebuild their lives in the UK, or to contact one another even when separated. Please help us by donating to our work.
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