The Refugee Journey
This series will take you on the journey of a refugee – from the decision to leave, the journey to safety, arriving at camp, and starting life over again. Everyone’s story is different and this journey is told from the perspective of 5 different families, all now living in Minawao camp Cameroon.
Part Three: Arriving
Refugee camps can be a safe place for those fleeing violence, but they also face scarce resources and challenges of their own. When Minawao camp was first started, it was intended to house up to 30,000 refugees.
Today, that number is over 65,000. ShelterBox is currently the only supplier of tents to families in this settlement.
There are processes and protocols in place when new families arrive at an established camp like Minawao. Upon arrival, most refugees stay in collective centres for weeks or months until they are able to move to private shelter. Tshamaya discussed with us his experience upon arrival to the camp.
The first days in the camp were not easy for Tshamaya and his family, especially in the transit centre where many families go when they arrive.
I had never imagined that we would survive in such an environment where you have nothing, can do nothing, and have no space of your own.
After several weeks, they got used to it, but they needed a private space of their own.
“We wanted to have our own shelter to try to live as we did in the past.”