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South Sudan: one refugee’s story

Nyamaun Galwack Kuer and her three children fled to Ethiopia from South Sudan after her husband was killed during fighting. Concern Worldwide is working to bring some order and safety to their lives.  
Nyamaun Gelwack Kuer with her three children who are being vaccinated at Pagak camp, South Sudan.

Unimaginable journey

She travelled with 12 other people for five weeks from her home in Malakal town, hiding in forests along the way without food or water. Nyamaun was terrified they would not make it, but she and her family survived the unimaginable journey against all odds.

The race to the border

Three of the group with whom she travelled—two children and a woman—were not so lucky and died along the way. Though not certain, Nyamaun believes they succumbed to their injuries along with a lack of water. She admitted that all she could think of was getting to the border safely before her family met the same fate.

Concern in action

Nyamaun is one of more than 80,000 refugees who have survived the journey into Ethiopia from conflict-torn South Sudan. She arrived at the Ethiopian border two months ago and has since remained at Pagak Camp, one of the entry points where we are working.

Refugee status

When she arrived she was given a blue band to wear on her wrist—a symbol of her refugee status. That entitles her and her family to further assistance. Since then, her son and two daughters have undergone health checks and received vaccinations. Nyabuay, the youngest, who was showing symptoms of malaria with a high fever and diarrhoea, is now receiving care.


Although things are far from normal, the registration and subsequent help has brought some degree of order to their lives for the time being. For Nyamaun it will take time to recover. She hasn’t thought beyond fleeing to safety, but believes she will be in Ethiopia for a while to come.
In time, she will be relocated to a more permanent camp, where she will await the outcome of her country’s conflict.

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