Children in Tigray, Ethiopia, Return to School, but Trauma Persists

Tsega Fitsum teaches as a volunteer at the Mai Weyni school in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray. She claimed that her students’ thoughts were still focused on the violence when classes resumed shortly after the ceasefire agreement in November of last year. “They used to be inclined to draw guns instead of writing alphabets and numbers,” she stated to VOA. However, we now declare that “the war is over.” They should be able to operate freely since there is neither fear nor turmoil.” It’s conceivable that the war’s impacts will last for years. Over 8,500 refugees from the war now reside at Mai Weyni School. There are about 5,100 youngsters under the age of 18.


Many children were left parentless or split up from their homes as a result of the conflict between the Tigrayan forces and the federal government of Ethiopia. According to specialists, children’s emotional scars have long-lasting effects. Etsedingel Hadera works as a psychiatrist at the Ayder Hospital in Mekelle. He suggested that parents should make an effort to lessen the hidden wounds that their children bear. “When parents see behavioral changes, they should give their children hope and let them know it’s okay and that it will all pass,” he stated to VOA. “They listen to everything around them, even when we think they are not paying attention, if they are not comforted in that way.”


Fitsum stated that the children’s recovery at the school and their reunion with their families have to be the primary priorities. “Many children suffered, and some were made to live without parents…However, they want to return to their families and return to school if there is peace. We must try, particularly for the kids,” she remarked. A mother named Meresu Gebru fled Mai-Kadra and took refuge on the school grounds. “Education is a solution for everyone,” she declared. I desire stability and education. From the town that saw some of the greatest brutality of the conflict, Gebru fled with one of her five children. Her husband and the other four children left to Sudan.


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