• Paul McKie

Fear and hope as Mumino's family waits to escape Somalia to safe haven

COVID, Baby, Death Threats and Medical Bills create chaos

Update May 2021 - Mumimo thought his anxiety-filled life hiding his family from death threats was hard enough. He didn't count on COVID-19 putting his wife in hospital followed by the premature birth of his daughter.

"It was really a life challenge I can say," explained Mumimo. "When you are sick and everyone in the family is sick and hiding from enemies and financially broke is a challenge."

As we've previously reported, IAA has been working with Mumimo (not his real name to ensure his safety) and his wife and her five-year-old daughter to get them to a safe country where Mumimo's atheist views are tolerated. For now they hide out in the African nation of his birth because his atheism in a land known for blasphemy laws and violence against "heretics" is inherently dangerous. Police have arrested and tortured Mumimo and mobs have repeatedly attacked him. Men once beat his wife and her daughter with electrical wires when they came looking for Mumino and found his family instead.

Mumimo and his family hide in a one-room apartment and only venture out at night. They are working with IAA and our sponsors to get to a safe haven. But even this dangerous life became more chaotic when Mumimo and his pregnant wife contracted COVID. His symptoms were minor but she was seriously ill and needed to be hospitalized.

COVID caused their daughter to be born prematurely at seven and a half months. Mumimo says the baby is in an incubator and doing well despite being so tiny. And his wife has recovered too.

"What we are going through can not be explained but can be felt," Mumimo told IAA. "It really affected us mentally and physically and financially. We still feel the fatigue."

Mumimo's wife and newborn daughter remain in hospital. And that has created a massive financial burden. Mumimo said the incubator and his wife's treatment cost money he doesn't have. "There is no free medicine or doctors when it comes to COVID or chronic diseases," he said.

IAA has helped with some costs, as did a man at the hospital whose child died and he gave Mumimo money for his medical fees.

We still need your help to pay medical bills and help secure transit to a tolerant country on the African continent. Only then can Mumimo's family be safe. In the meantime, Mumimo must risk his life just to go to the hospital to see his new daughter and his wife.

"I move when it is dark and, when I have money, I book a taxi. Luckily because of corona virus everyone must wear a face mask so it helps me cover half of my face," Mumimo explained.

He said his country is not safe for him or any atheist. He also has to single-parent his wife's daughter while his wife recovers in the hospital.

"It was a bad moment for me to care for my wife's daughter while I was sick," he recalled. "I tried hard just to be by my family." He said while he didn't get as sick as his wife he still suffers from after effects, including fatigue. "Before COVID I was able to water my small plants at home but now I feel like I am very old."

Amazingly, Mumimo still has hope for the future - hope that he and his family and their new daughter will be free to walk the streets without fearing for their lives. Mumimo is very thankful for IAA and its sponsors.

"I just want to say that because of them we can be safe and health again," Mumimo said gratefully.

To make this all happen we need your help. Please sponsor Mumimo to ensure his family is safe and healthy.

February 2021 - Mumino and his family hide every day in a small, unfurnished, one-room apartment fearing for their lives. And the only thing worse than the days are the nights.

Mumino (not his real name to ensure his safety), his pregnant wife and her 5-year-old daughter from another relationship, hide away in this African nation of his birth because of his atheism in a land known for blasphemy laws and violence against "heretics." He recently shared with IAA his fears and hopes for a brighter future.

"I hope one day I will wake up and sleep without fear," said Mumino.

Their lives are a terrifying blend of boredom and fear.

"We normally wake up at 7am, then eat our breakfast." he explained. "I planted tomato, maize and beans inside the house."

The apartment is one room with no furniture. Blankets and pillows cover the floor. A large plastic sheet on the floor serves as their make-shift dining area.

Mumino rarely leaves the house unless it is for an urgent matter. He will use the toilet facilities outside during the day. But never at night.

Men came to his house a few times, firing guns."I don't even think about going near to the front door," said Mumino. Instead, he uses an empty three litre plastic jug and an empty paint can for his toilet during night time.

Normally his wife goes to the market to buy their food. He ventures out only if pressed.

"Yes, like when applying for passports - and there is a time my wife was bleeding - thanks to IAA they saved my wife (she is pregnant)," recounted Mumino

He spends his time reading articles and watching shows with his wife.

"We watch one or two movies together. I also save articles to read," said Mumino, who learned English from watching movies with subtitles.

He struggles with the stress and the ennui. "Some times it gets really boring," he said.

"I am always indoors trying to hide myself from the enemies."

IAA with your help has assisted Mumino with passports and getting medication for his family. But they urgently need to move to a safe country on the African continent where their lives are not threatened because of Mumino's secular beliefs.

Arrested, tortured by police, and repeatedly attacked by mobs, Mumino spends every night fearing what will come in the morning. His wife and her daughter have been beaten with electrical wires when men came looking for Mumino and found his family instead. Mumino longs to be free to live his life without constant fear and get work as a cabinet maker.

We have a plan to help get Mumino, his wife and her 5-year-old daughter, to a safer place. For $1900 we can move Mumino and family to a safe haven. Please consider to help this family find a safe, new life.

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