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Semira, 25, has been married for 12 years and had her first child at the age of 14. Semira and her family fled armed clashes in her hometown in East Jebel Marra in 2020, and have been living in Otash camp for internally displaced people (IDP) ever since.

Protecting five children and surviving the lack of livelihood were not Semira's only concerns. She spent long nights dreaming with her eyes wide open of life in a better place - free from distress over her husband's beatings. She would frequently wake up to feelings of sorrow and despair, and fret over what her husband might do to her in the morning.

"I would go to my parents, but they would return me to my abusive husband." -Semira

One day, Semira's friend was visiting her and noticed her foot was burnt. Semira broke down in tears telling her friend all about how her husband was abusing her to the extent that he had burnt her foot with cooking oil.

"The violence never stopped, I simply became accustomed to it." -Semira.

The next day, Semira's friend took her to the UNFPA Women's Center in the camp, where Aisha, the Center's social worker, recognized Semira's trauma signs and referred her to the UNFPA-supported confidential corner in Nyala Hospital for treatment. After receiving immediate treatment for her foot, Semira and her assigned case worker developed a case management plan which included weekly follow-up sessions over the next three months to aid Semira in her recovery from trauma.

The Women's Center is a safe space where women and girls can connect and access psychosocial support, referrals to advanced care, dignity kits, awareness-raising and recreational activities. The center is run by a Women Committee made up of women and girls from the community who participate in designing and scheduling the activities.

"Here, women and girls have tea as they freely share their stories. I felt encouraged to visit the place often for support and for my psychological well-being." -Semira

"For thousands of women and girls in Sudan hope is the only thing they have left. We are here to turn this hope into a reality where they can thrive in a safe environment, fulfill their dreams and unleash their potential." Mr. Mohamed Lemine, UNFPA Representative in Sudan

Semira felt motivated to participate in vocational training activities. These life skills activities serve to enhance women's resilience, mitigate risks of gender-based violence and ensure immediate needs are met. Semira trained in soap-making and soon after began to train fellow women at the camp and refer them to the Women's Center. She was able to purchase soap-making materials and set up a small business in Otash camp.

Semira is one of 2.7 million women and girls in Sudan who are in need of gender-based violence protection, mitigation and response services. In 2021, funding from the European Union Humanitarian Aid enabled UNFPA to establish 5 Women Centers in Gedaref, South Darfur and North Darfur, and to reach over 26,000 of the most vulnerable women and girls with coordinated quality protection services.