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Safe and Sound

Story by Nothing But Nets June 3rd, 2015

Zabay Furaha is grateful her daughter is safe and happy. When she herself was just 2 years old, rebels attacked her village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and her parents had to flee, walking two days before they reached safety in Uganda. Zabay and her parents arrived at Nakivale Refugee Settlement in 1996.

Today, Zabay is married with one child – a two-year-old daughter – and she is one month pregnant with their second. Her husband works as a gatekeeper in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, several hours away so he can only return to Nakivale every two months. But Zabay is happy – she is surrounded by family. Her parents, her brother, and her sister-in-law named Chantal, all live at Nakivale and help when she needs it.

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Nakivale Refugee Settlement is a peaceful place made up of 36 villages across 76 square miles. It is home to more than 74,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. It’s a peaceful settlement and many refugees and partners work hand in hand. Established in 1958 for Rwandan refugees, Nakivale has been in operation thanks to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for more than 55 years and works with several implementing partners including Medical Teams International, American Refugee Committee, World Food Programme, Samaritan’s Purse, Nsamizi, and Windle Trust Uganda, among others. It works in cooperation with the Ugandan government.

But there is still one threat to the people of Nakivale – malaria. Last year, there were more than 63,000 cases – that’s an astounding number for a population of 74,000. Here, malaria is the number one cause of illness and death among children under five. And it is estimated that approximately 45% of households do not yet have access to a bednet. After all these families have been through, the last thing they should have to worry about is their child dying from a mosquito bite.

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Thankfully, Zabay’s family sleeps under a net.

“Malaria is the biggest health problem for my family,” she says. “We received nets in 2013, and it is much better now. I’m happy especially for my child; she didn’t get sick in the last two years. Now that I’m pregnant I feel safe when I sleep under a net.”

Zabay dreams of a quality education for her children, and hopes to be resettled in another country where they can start a new life.

Nothing But Nets has pledged to protect millions of refugee families like those at Nakivale Refugee Settlement by raising funds for one million bednets by the end of 2016. You can help us save lives. Learn more and take the pledge.

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Footnote: Photo credits: Corentin Fohlen/Nothing But Nets
Nakivale, Katete Road, Mbarara, Western Region, Uganda
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