‘When the conflict began in the town, we stayed at home, and the shooting increased. The next day, we got the message that we would each have to find a way to leave on our own. We left and were trying to go to a village, and when we stopped to rest along the way, we saw Jeanne, who was by herself. There was no one there. At first we thought she was just a child like the others…by evening we noticed that no one had come to get her, and that was when we realized that she was alone, and I decided to take her with us. I paid the porters $40 so that she could cross over from the other side of the river. Before coming back down here, we walked around showing Jeanne to different groups of displaced people to see if they recognized her and if they were her family, or knew them. That was how I decided to keep her with me, as my daughter.
In wartime, children panic, and if you’re not careful, they may run away from home and not return.’
- Carine, a mother of four in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is also caring for Jeanne, an orphan