A mother’s impossible choice: Flee violence or face life-threatening hunger

  • Niki Clark
  • Feb 8, 2024

In her hometown of Djenné in Mali, Anta and her beautiful family had all they needed. They worked on a large farm with plentiful livestock and managed a thriving business selling milk. She loved watching her grandchildren play. Life was good.   

But in an instant, that all changed.

An armed insurgency charged into their town, forcing Anta to make a difficult decision — stay in her beloved home and keep the farm where they had everything — or flee the horrific violence to protect her family.

The safety of her children and grandchildren was at the forefront of her heart when she made the impossible choice to travel up the Niger River.

They settled in the town of Tamani in the Ségou Region where they had no shelter and no way of making a living.

While Anta saved her family from one danger, they now face another — just as deadly — threat to their lives


Anta Diallo sitting outside.

Join the 2024 Hunger Challenge to Save Lives and help suffering families like Anta’s, who are making impossible decisions.  

While she made the smart choice, Anta is now torn up inside as she sees her precious grandbabies suffer from hunger and loneliness in this new land.  

“There, we knew no hunger,” Anta remembers. “But here we’re short on food. If I had known, we would have stayed there.” 

Anta’s children try to provide for their young family, yet they now only have a small plot of barren land to farm and no livestock.

Anta’s young grandchildren no longer play to fill their days. They try and find odd little jobs around town but are mostly tired and hungry. They are no longer thriving.   

Anta continuously feels the weight of the decision to leave her home on her shoulders, but the fear of violence left her little choice.

It was no-win situation.

Food in Anta’s new community is sparse, but she can’t return home for fear of her family’s lives.

“One day, we were scared because in Djenné, people were being killed. So we fled with our children,” says Anta.

Can you imagine having to make such a difficult choice?   


Anta made the agonizing decision of keeping her family safe with the uncertainty of how she would provide for them. And now, they can’t afford food to eat in this foreign land but are unable to return to their home where violence abounds.  

We are facing the worst hunger crisis the world has ever seen! Matriarchs, like Anta, are forced to feed their children bugs, leaves and grass because there is no food and little aid.  

Around the world, severe hunger has doubled since 2020.

Conflicts, economic hardship and other factors are making it difficult for families like Anta’s to access enough nourishing food to meet their basic needs. Some experts are calling this tragedy a “seismic hunger crisis” of “unprecedented proportions.”

Your caring gift today can deliver nourishing food and the tools necessary to rebuild a sustainable life for God’s children who need you. Your neighbors, like Anta’s grandbabies, can feel your love and they benefit from your support and generosity.


Anta fled with her children and grandchildren when an armed insurgency raided her town in Mali.

Niki Clark, Feb 8, 2024 email