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Portrait of Kalchingbé Suzanne

Education for Suzanne’s children

Her children would not attend school this year, Kalchingbé Suzanne believed, sitting before her tent at the reception site for disaster victims. 

A heavy downpour in N'Djaména caused the Chari and Logone rivers to burst their banks, flooding the capital of Chad in June 2022. It was catastrophic -- houses, collapsed and loss of life, livestock and livelihoods. 

Like many other families in N'Djaména, Kalchingbé Suzanne had lost everything -- her house, which had collapsed under the force of the rain; hers and her husband's livelihood; and finally, the future of her family -- the education of her children. 

"I lost my dad in 2005," she says. "I got married in 2012 thinking that I wouldn't have any more problems, but I was surprised. My husband lost his job just 2 years after we got married. 

"After that, a lot of problems arose in my household. I started doing street sales and my husband in turn made bricks. Despite these businesses, my husband and I are still struggling to support ourselves." 

Then came the rains. 

When Kalchingbé Suzanne's house collapsed on 17 October 2022, she, her husband and their children took refuge with a host family. But when their host's family house also flooded, her family was forced to join the popular shelters where most disaster victims were received. 

The rains affected 110,000 people in Chad, including 41,000 people in N'Djaména, destroying more than 2,200 hectares of farmland in a nation where, at the beginning of June 2022, authorities declared a hunger crisis. 

A needs assessment carried out by humanitarian actors revealed that flood victims would need shelter, food security and water and hygiene sanitation. Together with Global Affairs Canada, Oxfam Québec responded to the urgent needs of disaster victims in Kalchingbé Suzanne's community in N'Djaména. She received cash assistance, a kit of essential household items and materials to rebuild her collapsed house. 

"I received aid from Oxfam Québec, which relieved me", says Kalchingbé Suzanne, who will finally have the means to send her children to school this year. 

Oxfam Québec is committed to meeting the water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) and food security needs of disaster-affected people in Chad, including the distribution of essential household kits, support for the repair of damaged latrines and sanitation structures in schools, material support for vulnerable households to repair shelters, and the distribution of cash for food assistance. Oxfam has also organised awareness-raising sessions on good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of exposure to diseases that can result from flooding. 

As for Kalchingbé Suzanne, she can again dream about the future. Her family has rice to eat. Her house will be rebuilt. And her children will go to school. 

"I hope that one day these difficulties will be over," she says.