Pooled Fund Impact

Help for elderly displaced women

South Sudan


Malakal, South Sudan. Zakariah is sixty years old. In February 2014, she fled to the United Nations Protection of Civilians compound, seeking refuge from the conflict raging in Malakal town.

She had her children and grandchildren with her. Her husband and son-in-law stayed in town to protect the family home, but did not survive.

Life in the camp was difficult. Zakariah experienced depression. IOM’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support community worker invited her to join a group of women who met regularly for counselling at the community centre. There, Zakariah took an interest in crocheting and fabric crafts.

Her skills grew over time. “I realized I should be doing this as a business. Seven years later, I feel satisfied. I can cope with what happened to me. I can afford to buy food and clothes for my children, “ she says.

*Names have been changed.

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