"Go outside and study for a little while." were the last words Yannick*, a twelve-year old boy, heard from his mother. He reluctantly went outside as he did not want to argue with his mother. Yannick and his mother had lived alone in a small house. His father had left them a long time before... "Luckily", says Yannick "because he often hit me and my mum." Yannick and his mother, who was disabled and could not walk properly, were close and coped with their difficult everyday life.
Yannick remembers that as soon as he was outside: "the earth started to shake and there was a tremendous noise". And then the little house collapsed behind him, burying his mother who was unable to save herself because of her disability.
Yannick was horrified and ran out onto the street. An aunt took him into her care and helped him through the very difficult first days. They slept out on the street and had hardly anything to eat until they finally received emergency aid in a camp.
Four days ago** Yannick finally arrived at the SOS Children's Village. He is very withdrawn and just quietly observes what goes on around him. During the day he is quite well, but during the night he has bad nightmares which take him back to what he has gone through and he shivers and is sick in his sleep.
The psychologists at SOS Children's Villages are trying to help Yannick. He knows and feels that he is in a safe place and is cared for. But he still mainly feels grief and an inner emptiness without his mother.
*Name has been changed, photo actual
**Text from January 26, 2010