They fled a Boko Haram massacre. Now, after years in refugee camps, families return to rebuild their lives.
ADAM, Nigeria – When Adam and his wife, Chinyere, fled their village in Nigeria with their two young daughters, they were in the grip of a deadly Boko Haram attack.
Chinyere, a medical student, was hit by a piece of shrapnel in the leg. She collapsed on the ground, and her husband, her body wracked with pain, collapsed beside her.
She called out for help. But while Adam was taken to a clinic, Chinyere and the girls remained by a roadside in the hopes of a safer route. Their captors ambushed them while they were still by the road.
“I was very scared,” he said, “because a child could have been killed.”
More than eight years after the attack, Adam, a 34-year-old bricklayer, and Chinyere, his wife, are reunited as a couple at a refugee camp in Nigeria. Both say they wish they had been able to return as soon as the attack took place, as Chinyere had in the hopes of raising enough money to pay off the family’s debt.
But in the ensuing eight years, Adam and Chinyere have been forced to live through the horrors of Boko Haram terror. They went hungry, and their children were abused. Their husbands were kidnapped and raped. And they were held captive by the terror group until they could pay a ransom.
Now, four years after this nightmare, Adam says he and Chinyere are finally starting to rebuild their lives in peace and security, in the knowledge that their nightmare has at last come to an end.
“This has all been very difficult,” he said, “but it’s been worth it.”
After their girls were kidnapped, Adam and Chinyere fled to a nearby town