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Fawziea’s story: supporting the bereaved in Benghazi

Libyan Red Crescent volunteer and her sonBoth Fawziea and her husband are volunteers for the Libyan Red Crescent. When violence erupted in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, Fawziea was there helping from day one.

Fawziea’s role is to support women and help them to move on with their lives. She says: “The mothers of the deceased came to the hospital and I had to give them psychological support. I was sad but the only thing I could do was talk to those mothers and comfort them.”

The armed violence in the city meant that Fawziea was confronted by many difficult scenes. Despite this, she was determined to assist those who came to her for help. She says: “I was terrified by the injuries I saw. I was not used to those scenes but I found myself just doing my job.”

Determined

Fawziea, who is a mother herself, says: “I can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose a child." Yet one day, while working in the hospital, she received a call from her nine-year-old son. He and his sister were at home with their nanny and a neighbour’s house had been hit.

Her children took shelter in a basement with the neighbours and Fawziea stayed at the hospital. Although she was terrified, she says: “I could not leave those mothers alone.”

Throughout the region the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is supporting people who have been affected by the unrest in Libya. It is providing them with medical and food supplies, helping to restore family links and facilitating border transfers. The International Committee of the Red Cross is also visiting the detained in Benghazi.

Fawziea is happy to be contributing: “I always wanted to do good for people and working for the Red Crescent allowed me to do so. I feel fulfilled now and satisfied by my work. I am even readier now to go on working."

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