Fourth Sunday of Lent B

Reflection

Light and darkness are the strong visual images that stand out from the readings. Exile is also a very powerful image in the Word of God. This links with the Trócaire programme to draw our attention to the needs of displaced people. If there is someone in your community who has the experience of displacement they could be invited to give a testimony.

 

Who are they?

This photograph above shows the Mohammed family from Somalia. Sacid (8), Farhan (10) their father Arab, Dollar (7)and Faysal (9). Their mother Qaali is carrying Ayan (6).

Why were they displaced?

Arab and Qaali used to live in Baidoa city. They had a good life there, lived on a farm with 5 cattle and Arab had a job repairing watches and radios. Then in 1991, the government of the country collapsed. Since then there has been no central functioning government to make decisions about running the country. Fighting between rival clans since 1991 has forced ten per cent of the population, over 1 million people, to leave their homes. Arab and his wife had to leave their home when the fighting started. They had to escape to a refugee camp in Kenya in 1992 when fighting broke out in Belet Amin and lived there for four years.

Where do they live now?

They live in Belet Amin, a settlement for displaced people in Somalia beside the border with Kenya. Life is very hard for the family. They get some food aid but not enough to feed the whole family. They try to make some more money by washing clothes, gathering firewood or begging. They have to walk 3km to the nearest source of water. They feel they will never be able to return to their home because it is more dangerous than ever. Arab said “God knows the future; we don’t know what will happen. I’m staying here; I don’t have any intention to move from here, where security is good.”

See also
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