Apsatu's Story

Meet Apsatu

Conflict in Nigeria


The attack that shattered their peaceful existence remains etched in Apsatu’s memory. One morning, as she was preparing breakfast, armed terrorists descended upon her village, firing shots into the air.

Apsatu, unfamiliar with the sound of gunfire, instinctively knew that Boko Haram had arrived. With quick thinking, she gathered her family, especially her young children, and fled. The attackers mercilessly killed the elderly and abducted the young, leaving behind a trail of heart-wrenching screams and perverse laughter. Apsatu’s life journey has been a testament to resilience and courage in the face of unimaginable challenges.

Displaced multiple times after 2015 due to violent Boko Haram attacks, Apsatu’s life was once peaceful and content. She reminisces about a time when she had enough money, her children went to school, and they never ran out of food. Their family even owned several flats, with her grown-up children planning to start their own families. However, overnight, everything changed, and they were forced to flee, leaving behind their entire life to start anew.





I never saw my husband or eldest sons again. They were kidnapped and I’m sure that if they were asked to kill me today, they would because they’ve been brainwashed.”



Life at the Minawao refugee camp, though providing a semblance of safety, was fraught with challenges. Apsatu grappled with the constant fear for her children’s safety and the trauma inflicted upon them by their experiences. Despite these hardships, she found a sense of security in the camp and resolved to improve their daily life there.

For the past two years, Apsatu has worked tirelessly to rebuild her life. She runs a small stall selling basic necessities and indulges in farming, a passion she has always had. Her children, now mostly grown, assist her with these tasks and with household chores, forming a close-knit family unit.

The impact of the changing climate has added to their hardships, with violent weather threatening their makeshift shelters. However, receiving assistance from ShelterBox marked a new chapter in Apsatu’s life. The aid provided allowed her to build a more solid, safer shelter, fulfilling a long-held dream and providing her family with much-needed stability and security.




I don’t plan to leave Minawao camp or Cameroon, I feel safe here, I feel at home. I want my children to be good people and find good jobs. May God bless you all and all the hands that helped us receive these donations.”





Despite the hardships she has faced, Apsatu remains hopeful for the future. She dreams that her children will grow up to be kind, educated individuals with access to better opportunities. Her resoluteness to stay in the Minawao Refugee camp stems from a sense of safety and belonging, as she prays for a brighter future for her children.

Hear First-Hand from Apsatu

Her time at the Minawao Refugee Camp in Cameroon

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