The Salesians in Duekoue, Ivory Coast, are working around the clock to accommodate a massive wave of more than 20,000 refugees desperately trying to escape an outbreak of politically-driven violence that occurred in late March.
Families from Duekoue have been living in fear for the past four months after President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept the victory of Alassane Ouattara in a runoff election. Radical supporters from both sides have since engaged in armed attacks, threatening the safety and lives of tens of thousands of innocent residents.
On March 30th, rebels targeted the Carrefour district of the city, forcing families to leave their homes and all their belongings. The attackers proceeded to loot and burn the houses.
Amidst the chaos, word spread quickly among the victims to seek help at the local Salesian Missions center, which they did in droves. To make matters worse, heavy rains knocked out power and running water at the center for three days.
Despite these challenges, the Salesians in Duekoue are determined to provide a safe haven for as many refugees as possible. Due to the overwhelming need, the Salesians have called on other humanitarian agencies to assist as well.
Through the prayers and support of our caring friends and benefactors, our missionaries in Dukoue are hopeful that a full-scale civil war can be avoided and that peace will ultimately prevail in the region.
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Tens of thousands seek safety at Salesian compound after massacre in Ivory Coast