Life as a refugee
Forced from home|Seeking safety|Raising a family
"We are originally from Shegla in Kunar Province. Twenty-eight years ago we left for Pakistan because of the Russian invasion. Russians invaded the area where we came from in Shegal and many people were killed. Four people in our family died – my parents, my uncle and his wife. All were killed by Russian bombs. We were not alone – everybody lost family members and property during these attacks."
Sedamin told us that the level of violence forced him and his wife to leave for Pakistan. His family settled in a Pakistani refugee camp – and were there, unexpectedly, for 20 years.
A journey to find home
With his wife, Gulmana, they raised their children: six daughters and three sons. Just before the fall of the Taliban, they made the difficult decision to return home to Afghanistan, to try and rebuild. Little did they know, there were no jobs, and the security situation had deteriorated even further. After years as refugees in Pakistan, they became internally displaced people (IDPs) in Afghanistan.
Homeless once again
"Since we arrived in Woch Tangai last year, we have received no assistance other than the free medical care International Medical Corps provides at the clinic. Without this I don’t know what we would do. This morning my wife brought our only little grandchild to be treated for an illness, and awhile back the doctor there also treated me for a chest infection. I wouldn’t have been able to afford paying for transport to Jalalabad and medical care. … I thought our family would be able to settle in our old community and I would be able to start work again…"
Like many displaced people in Afghanistan, Sedamin’s journey home looks unlikely. His children have never seen life outside of a refugee camp and so, for now, they make their home here as best they can.