Stories from Um-Rakuba Refugee Camp


Mulu’s Story

Mulu is staying in a tent at Um-Rakuba camp.

As a woman with a disability in the camp, she faced many challenges. For instance, she has difficulty accessing the bathrooms on site.

Mulu’s husband had to carry her across the border when they fled. She feels the futility of fleeing and in a similar situation to her forefathers, who were also refugees.

She does not know the whereabouts of her mother and siblings are or whether they are alive, which causes her great mental distress.

Photo: Mulu receiving cooking utensils from Islamic Relief.

Muez: Longing for Home

I also met Muez near a makeshift tea kiosk in addition to a busy road at the camp. He is just 21-years-old and is married with a 2-year-old son.

Photo: Muez at a tea kiosk, Um-Rakuba Refugee camp.

When Muez fled Ethiopia, he was separated from his young wife, but was eventually reunited with her in the camp.

Muez sometimes feels frustrated that he can’t find a job and care for his young family. But he tries to remain patient and console himself with the fact that he is alive, while many he knew have lost their lives amid the conflict in Ethiopia.

 Muez simply wants the conflict to end so he can go home.

And, of course, millions more want exactly the same thing: to be able to go home to the place they know and love.

Providing WASH Facilities for Ethiopian Refugees in Um Rakuba Camp Sudan 

In Africa, more than 70 000 refugees flee the ongoing conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and have made the exhausting journey to eastern Sudan. The Um Rakuba Camp in eastern Sudan is one of the camps established to accommodate some of these refugees.  

Islamic Relief is responding to the refugee crises. Islamic Relief has a special relationship with Sudan. In 1985, Islamic Relief started its first project to sponsor a chicken farm in Sudan. When Sudan asked for help in 2021, Islamic Relief was there. As usual, the refugee camps are primarily coordinated by the various United Nations agencies, and Islamic Relief works very closely with these agencies to ensure that all needs are met without duplication.  

The various Islamic Relief Offices are assisting the Islamic Relief Office in Sudan to meet the different needs of refugees. Islamic Relief Australia is assisting with providing WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities for the refugees. Islamic Relief Australia is providing 45 bathing/shower facilities (22 for men and 23 for women) in a section of the camp. The WASH facilities will support 360 families with ablution facilities and clean water. The majority of the refugees are Muslim and for Islamic Relief Australia assisting with the provision of WASH facilities goes beyond the obvious dignity and hygiene needs, but also provides the facilities to practice the very important religious rites of purification. 

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