Reuniting Families in Cameroon
10-year-old Abakar could not stop smiling
It had been two years since members of the terrorist organisation Boko Haram attacked his village in Fotokol separating him from his family.
Now, reunited with his mother, Abakar was full of joy.
Forced apart from his family, Abakar was found in the town of Goulfey by a local farmer who kindly provided him with shelter. Whilst temporarily sheltered, Abakar was no longer able to attend school, no longer able to play with his friends and no longer able to seek out the comfort of his mother—a situation no 8-year-old should find themselves in.
When International Medical Corps started to provide conflict-affected children in the Far North Region of Cameroon with child-protection services, our team identified Abakar as an unaccompanied child and quickly placed him into a case management program. This enabled Abakar to return to school whilst the social workers began their ‘family-tracing efforts’.
In late 2017, International Medical Corps’ Child Protection Team located Abakar’s parents and extended family in the village of Zimado, approximately 80 miles away from Goulfey. With the support of the Delegation of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Abakar was finally reunited with his family earlier this year—and he hasn’t stopped smiling since.
Abakar’s story may have ended happily, but his initial peril is sadly all too common for children in the Far North Region of Cameroon.
With the generous support of European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), International Medical Corps is strengthening the systems in place to help support and reunite lost and vulnerable children. Working with the Cameroon government and alongside protection partners such as UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Medical Corps is committed to efforts that help reunite internally displaced children, like Abakar, with their families.