Hope in the face of fear: The story of Bintu

Some two years ago, Bintu Modu was happily living in the comfort and warmth of her family in Madaya when they got attacked by an armed opposition group. The attack led to the death of her father and consequent separation from her mother whose whereabouts till date is unknown. At just 11 years of age, Bintu was abducted and taken into captivity by the AOGs, she fell victim to forced marriage while in the abduction and luckily escaped the clutches of the AOGs recently.

She told CHAD caseworker about how she had fled from the AOG base and ran for two days with no sense of direction where she was going; I ran from night till morning and night fell again and day broke again and I was still running. With help from a woman and boy I met along the way, I reached a new community where I know nobody”

Bintu arrived at the transit centre in October 2019 where CHAD identified her, assessed her and commenced case management for her. Bintu was placed under formalized foster care while arrangements to trace and reunify her with her family relatives took off earnestly. Bintu benefitted from Medical services, food items and non-food items support as a starter to stabilize her and improve her mental state before further supports will be provided. She was then enrolled into a psychosocial support programme implemented by UNICEF through the Ministry of women affairs and social development and into formal education all in efforts to roll back the negative impacts of the traumatic events she had been subjected to over the past two years.

Thanks to CHAD sedulous FTR team, in no time, Bintu’s uncle was traced to be resident in the same community as Bintu, she was overwhelmed with joy on hearing this news because she was under the impression that she had no surviving family relatives after the raid on their village. In January 2020, Bintu was reunified with her uncle, the expression on her face and that on her uncle’s said it all.

“I never expected I will see my niece again, so many girls were taken that night of the raid and we never heard anything about them, I am short of words, she told me she ran for 2 days without help, I shed tears when she told me this” – Mallam Bukar

Constant follow-up visit was done to ensure that Bintu is accessing adequate care from her family continued and in one of such visits; Bintu stated “I am happy in my uncle’s care, I eat well and they always want to make sure I am fine. All the children like me and play with me and I feel happy. I am also very happy to go to school; I had always wanted to go to school but there was no school close to our village and now I am in school and I am very happy with it”