Meet Saida, a 6-year old refugee on the Tunisian-Libyan border

Saida arrived at the Choucha camp on the Tunisian-Libyan border on March 8. She may be only 6, but she is used to life as a refugee.

Six-year-old Saida and her friend Abdel-Kader stand in a transit camp near the border with Libya. Saida-Libya.jpg ©UNICEF/NYHQ/Ramoneda

Saida was born in Somalia, but when she was just 8 months old, her mother and father moved to Khartoum, Sudan, to look for work. Two years later, the family was on the road again, this time destination: Libya. “We heard that you could board a boat to Europe from there, so we decided to give it a try,” said her mother.

Saida and her family stayed in Libya until 2 weeks ago, when fear and violence became too much to bear. She doesn’t know when she is going to see her Libyan friends from pre-school–Rania, Marwa and Abla — again. But she does know where she wants to go next.

“I want to go anywhere by the sea. Once I get there, I will play and I will go to school.”

Meanwhile, Saida spends her days at the camp playing with her new friend and fellow Somali, Abdel-Kader.

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Tens of thousands of migrants from countries including Bangladesh, Egypt, Niger, Somalia and Tunisia have fled the violence in Libya. UNICEF works at the refugee camps on the border to make sure that children’s rights are met.

UNICEF also plans to conduct a census to determine the number of families at the camp, and has begun vaccinating under-fives against high-risk diseases.

Donate and support UNICEF’s work to help children fleeing violence in Libya.