Abdou's Story

Abdou fled his home to protect his family. The mosquito nets, kitchen set and solar lights we provided helped the family feel safe again.

Escaping Boko Haram

Violent attacks by Boko Haram and counter-insurgency measures have affected more than 17 million people in the Lake Chad Basin since 2009.

Abdou is one of these 17 million.

Before the attacks, Abdou was a fisherman who took great pride in looking after his little family.

He came from a long line of skilled fishermen, and enjoyed doing it to support his wife and three children.

When Boko Haram attacked Abdou’s village, young children were taken by force and recruited to carry out kamikaze attacks.

Young people were brainwashed. Livelihoods were burnt to the ground. People were slaughtered.

In such a short period of time, Abdou lost everything – friends, his home, his livelihood.

One by one, every single person in Abdou’s village fled.

‘Many of the young people like me were taken by force and they began brainwashing them. The situation had become more and more unstable because they burnt all of our fishing equipment and we could no longer earn money.’

Abdou knew that he and his family had to flee their village in order to save their lives. They travelled for days and found refuge in a camp in Chad where ShelterBox and our local partner were distributing aid.

Starting Again

Abdou's Family

The families from Abdou’s village went in search of refuge and were welcomed at Koulkime Two in Chad.

This is one of the camps where ShelterBox has been distributing aid with our partner, ICAHD. Abdou said:

Faced with our precarious situation, the support received from ShelterBox is of great help to me.

Donate Now

Vital Aid

The site where Abdou’s family now live is located 5km from a river. Unfortunately, this is an ideal habitat for mosquitoes, making it a prevalent area for malaria.

Abdou said the mosquito nets provided by ShelterBox were of great help, giving them protection against diseases like malaria.

As well as the mosquito nets, Abdou and his family received a kitchen set and solar lights.

For Abdou and his family, ShelterBox aid has given his family a sense of relief and a chance to rebuild in a safe space – away from violence and away from fear.

Our Work in the Lake Chad Basin

‘My family, especially my wife is relieved for the kitchen set. I am also impressed to receive a solar lamp that I see for the first time. It allows us to light up our environment. In view of my current situation, since I do not practice fishing, I do not have any money for essential kits like these. I hope to be able to resume my work as a fisherman soon to be able to earn money to meet other needs.’

Read More Stories of Shelter


When the floods devastated Peru in 2017, Yolanda’s home was wrecked. Using tools and materials, she was able to rebuild her home after the floodwaters receded.


When the devastating earthquake hit Nepal, Surya was almost buried alive. Read her amazing story of survival and recovery.