Photo : Archivio COOPI
Kenneth MBOLI is 16 years old, and a south Sudanese refugee who lives in the area of Obo. He benefits from the support that COOPI supplies through its project, in favour of the most vulnerable people in the Haut Mbomou region, in the Central African Republic. He has agreed to tell us his personal story as a boy separated from his family. His experience is similar to those that hundreds of other children have experienced due to mass migration.
The chaos of escaping
I remember the day when my father told my mother that it was necessary to go away from South Sudan. We left the day after and when we left South Sudan towards Central African Republic, in the chaos of escaping, I was accidently divided from my parents, thereby loosing them. I didn’t receive any news from my family for 5 months. I lived under the responsibility of the President of the Committee of the South Sudanese refugees in Obo; life was hard in the area, as 2 months passed and nobody arrived to distribute food.
Surviving, far away from one’s family
One day I saw two of COOPI’s operators while doing a control on unaccompanied boys and their separated parents. After having taken my personal details, they granted me custody with a foster family and gave me a kit for correct hygiene and sanitation habits. Every end of the month COOPI gave me an alimentary ration that allowed me to survive, despite being far away from my parents. COOPI’s operators did a search among the families who had lost their children during the move and through this operation they were able to identify my parents. Moreover, they assisted in introducing my family in the refugee camp, where I was, in Obo.
When my whole family was rejoined, I started to feel better, I was more settled and positive towards my future. With the aim of helping me to live a life in normal conditions, COOPI’s operators introduced me to recreational and sport activities that were organized for the children in the camp. Now I participate regularly and feel more satisfied. Thanks to the activities organized by COOPI, I have managed to resume relations with my family, my friends and my neighbours. I really believe to have regained normality in my life.