Teenagers, Berhane*, 15, and her brother Solomon*, 16, arrived in Tripoli in the wake of a raging war after fleeing persecution in their home country, Eritrea. One evening, while searching for a safe place to spend the night, the siblings were approached by Nazret, a fellow Eritrean mother of two who offered them a place to stay.
Nazret, a single mother, was raising her children alone in a small apartment after her husband had drowned months earlier whilst trying to reach Europe by boat. Nazret took Berhane and Solomon under her wing and brought them to be registered with UNHCR as asylum-seekers. This allowed them to benefit from the many services provided at UNHCR’s Community Day Centre (CDC) in Gurji, in Tripoli. The teenagers, who were suffering from psychological trauma from their journey from Eritrea to Libya, were provided with medical assistance at the centre in addition to regular one-to-one psychosocial counselling. UNHCR also provided core relief items and cash assistance for accommodation rental and food.
When Nazret and her two small children were identified for resettlement to a third country, Nazret approached UNHCR to request that Berhane and Solomon be included in her family’s case for resettlement. “My life was dark after the death of my husband. The arrival of these two teenagers was of enormous help to me and my two own children just loved their ‘big sister and brother’- it feels like they are my own children! There was no question that I would abandon and leave Libya without them”.
UNHCR is now re-submitting Nazret’s file with the teenagers included, as Berhane and Solomon are among the most vulnerable persons for which a durable solution outside of Libya needs to be urgently found.
The EU Trust Fund for Africa in Libya, is supporting UNHCR’s assistance to refugee and asylum-seeker children urban areas in Tripoli and through evacuations to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM).
*All names have been changed for protection reasons.
- Publication date
- 20 November 2019
- Region and Country
- Improved migration management