The Victims of the Zinder Riots
$8,365 of $50,000 goal
On January 16th 2015, rioters took to the streets of Zinder (Niger) in protest of the Charlie Hebdo pulications and burned down the churches, the French Cultural center, a school as well as stores and homes of numerous Christian families in the city.
Those families now stand without anything. They escaped with their lives but lost all their belongings. The rioters broke down the walls of their houses and stole everything of value, then set fire to the rest. Animals were burned alive and several people had to be rescued by their neighbours from the burning houses.
The aim of this campaign is to raise the funds needed to help those families get their lives together again. We are still unsure of how many families have been affected, but we know of 8 families and we suspect more. Niger is the poorest country in the world and no insurance will cover their loss, nor can their own church provide them with any assistance as it has been burnt down too.
These families stand without anything. They have neither clothes, food nor a roof over their heads. Although we cannot undo the damage that has been done to them for an offence they did not commit, we can however help them rebuild their lives and recover their future.
My heart bleeds for these families and I cannot rest until they are OK. Please pass this around and help us give them their lives back!
With all my heart,
For more info about the riots in Zinder:
"Niger rioters torch churches and attack French firms in Charlie Hebdo protest" - The Guardian (published the 17th of January 2015)
"Five killed in anti-Charlie Hebdo riots in Niger" - Mail Online (published the 17th of January 2015)
"Charlie Hebdo protests: Five dead as churches and French flags burn in Niger riots over Prophet Mohamed cover" - The Independent (published the 27th of January 2015)
This is a message from Esther's family. Esther passed away tragically in a car accident on August 6, 2015.
This campaign has been deactivated.
“I knew there was going to be a demonstration that day,” Ruth recalls, “but I had no idea they were coming to burn my house. Had I known, I would have fled!” As it was, Ruth left work early on Friday afternoon so as not to be trapped in the riot, and was joined by her daughter Asnate who did not go to school that day.
“We started hearing the cries of the crowd at 2pm. I asked my neighbour what was happening, and she answered: ‘Today, we go to war!’” The idea terrified Ruth who quickly locked the gate and the house, but she still had no idea that what the neighbour had actually meant was that today, the crowd was coming to wage war on her – because she was a Christian. “If I had known, I would have taken my daughter and fled! As it was, we were trapped inside when the rioters arrived.” The first rioters arrived some ten minutes later, tearing down the gate. “We watched them through the livingroom window as they broke all the windows of my car. My daughter said, ‘We must hide, mom!”’ but I told her we weren’t going anywhere. Then I saw an endless crowd of rioters filling my courtyard and the next thing I knew, they were setting my car on fire. And that’s when I told Asnate, ‘Let’s go! If we stay here, they will attack us too.” To leave the house, both Ruth and Asnate had to run out the main entrance, and as they reached the veranda, the rioters saw them. “They’re trying to escape!” they shouted to each other. “Come, we must kill them!!” But no one tried to stop them as they ran. “My daughter lifted me over the wall,” Ruth said. “It was high and she literally had to throw me over.” 54 year old Ruth injured her foot on her on way down and six weeks later, her foot is still hurting from the fall. The two women hid at their neighbour’s, who was out at first. They listed to the rioters as they plundered their home and then set fire to what they couldn’t bring with them. When the neighbour came back, she wanted to hide them in her house, but Ruth said: “They saw us jump the wall to your house. They can easily come for us.” The neighbour helped them hide with another neighbour down the street. From there, they called the authorities, who promised they would come and help them, but it was only after 7 pm that the police finally arrived and took them to safety.
In a single day, Ruth and Asnate lost everything they owned. “They stole our furniture, our TV, my gold jewelry, all our clothes and all the food we had purchased for the coming year – but what hurt me the most was that they burned all of Asnate’s school books.
Like the other victims of the Zinder riots that we have met with so far, Ruth and Asnate have been given €150 from this fund, but this is not enough to rebuild their home. So far, this campaign has received $5,655 to the victims of the Zinder riots, but there are many families, so please keep sharing!
Heartfelt greetings from Zinder,
Tristes et déplorables événements en tout cas ; jamais je n'aurais pu imaginer que de tels actes puissent être posés chez nous à Zinder. Nous ne connaissons pas l'intolérance etla violence , et l'histoire est là pour juger les responsables de ces agissements. Tous petits nous avions vécu en symbiose avec toutes les communautés socio-religieuses sans haine ni heurts. Voilà qu'un mauvais jours l'inconcevable se produise. Je témoigne ici toute ma solidarité à l'endroit des personnes et familles ainsi qu'à toutes ces communautés de confessions socio -culturo-religieuse atteintes par ce drame. Que notre Dieu nous pardonne tous et change nos mauvaises actions en des meilleures. Merci !