Ahada’s four-year-old son was shot while protecting the family’s goats. She and her remaining children fled to Kenya, where they now live in a refugee camp that is filled to overflowing. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS
“Aden, my oldest son, was four years old. He was watching our goats,” says Ahada, a Somali woman in her early twenties. “Men with guns came and wanted the animals. Aden shouted, ‘Don’t take our goats!’”
Ahada’s small son was caught in the midst of a chaotic, seemingly never-ending war in Somalia. Armed bandits, militias and other violent groups terrorize the country’s rural population, who are mostly nomadic herdsmen. Children are not spared. Aden wasn’t.
Aden’s death by shooting came in the midst of a drought that was leading to famine. Ahada’s husband was also killed by militants; she knew she had to flee. She’d heard of a country called Kenya, so she took her two children there, crossing the border.