Last summer, Aissata Diallo watched her son leave their village in northern Mali. She did not want to let him go, but since her husband died, she had struggled to feed her four children — and at the height of the region’s hunger crisis, their situation had become desperate.
“I have no source of income and no plot to grow food,” she explained. “Often all we had is what neighbors gave me from the rest of their meal.”
So her oldest son, still far from an adult, went looking for work to help the family. She hasn’t heard from him since.