International Women's Day in Chad - Madiya's story

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In Bredjing refugee camp in Chad women from the camp, and those living nearby, celebrated International Women's Day on 8th March with sketches, songs, poems and a sack race that Cord organised. Afterwards girls from Cord's schools as well as teachers joined other groups in a long procession at the end of the event.

“It is our day to celebrate. It shows that we are significant. We want to come together [as women] to dance and celebrate.”

Madiya Ahmat Abakar is 19 years old and came to Bredjing refugee camp in 2003 just after the violence erupted over the border in Sudan. As she fled with her family they were separated, but along with her mother she arrived safely in Chad.

At first life was hard in the camp. “I would go to market with my mother every day. It was difficult and a hard life,” Madiya admitted.

But her family were eventually reunited in the camp and she now lives with her nine siblings and uncle.

She began to attend one the schools that Cord runs and get an education, successfully graduating from primary school and she now works as a teacher with Cord, as well as continuing her secondary school studies.

“If you are not educated it is a hard life. You cannot find work, and you are forced to leave your family and move away. Now I have education and a job, I can help my whole family. I can support them in their problems and provide for themm,” said Madiya.

Education has given her the opportunity to think about a bright future ahead: “Without an education everything is dark and life is difficult, education brings light and you can see a positive change. Now I have learnt new skills I want to travel and see and work in different countries,” Madiya concludes.