My name is Emily and I work for Oxfam. I’ve just got back from a work trip to Chad, and I’m finding it hard to forget what I saw out there. I knew that 18 million people in West Africa didn’t have enough to eat, so I thought I knew what to expect. It turns out I didn’t have a clue
It was heartbreaking to see women my mother’s age eating boiled leaves in a desperate bid to survive one more day. I saw children who were so hungry they could no longer be soothed by their mothers. And I saw parents in despair about what would happen to their family.
I’ll always remember the day I met Fatime Alkhider. She had injured her foot and was totally reliant on her daughter, Ama Tom, to find food for her. I could see she was wracked with guilt as she told me: “I cannot work any longer so I am merely a burden. I am proud of my daughter who digs in anthills for seeds and collects leaves for us to eat. But I am no use. I am just waiting for death.” I can’t describe to you how good it felt to be able to tell Fatime that we could help her get through the next few weeks. She was overjoyed with the food Oxfam distributed. But there’s still much more to do. There are many more families in desperate need of urgent help to survive the next few months. Please help by donating whatever you can to our West Africa appeal – just £20 will help bring food to the most vulnerable.
Thanks so much for your support.
Fatime Alkhider has now received aid from Oxfam but many other people remain in dire need of help.
Photography: Abbie Trayler-Smith