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Daily Record
Daily Record
Sally Hind

Scots mum and four kids evacuated from Sudan to rebuild lives in Scotland

A Scots mum and her kids can start rebuild their lives after being evacuated from war-torn Sudan after a fundraising appeal raised thousands.

Jennifer McLellan, a teacher from Islay, fled conflict-hit capital Khartoum with her four children during a ceasefire last month but was heartbroken to leave her Sudanese husband Mohamed behind.

The 36-year-old had called the African nation home for more than 15 years but left on a rescue flight with no money or possessions after almost two weeks sheltering her kids from bombing and gunfire.

Now more than £4,000 has been raised to help get the family back on their feet in Scotland after relatives set up a crowdfunding page.

Jennifer with husband Mohamed and their four children (Daily Record)

Jennifer said: “I am so humbled by how generous and kind people have been.”

More than 600 people have been killed and 700,000 displaced after months of escalating tensions between the military in Sudan and a rival paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces.

Jennifer previously told the Record how she feared she had been abandoned by the UK Government as her family remained trapped by the fighting last month and revealed their terrifying trip to the evacuation point, which saw them caught up in gunfire.

Her husband Mohamed stayed behind to help his mother and frail grandmother but Jennifer says there is no way for him to apply for a visa to join his family in Scotland as basic food and water supplies run desperately low.

Damaged buildings in the southern part of Khartoum (Getty Images)

Last week the family business in the capital was looted and a “life changing” amount of money stolen from a safe.

Jennifer is unsure when she will see her husband again.

Her sister Julie McIntyre set up a crowdfunder on Go Fund Me in recent days to help support the mum, sons Harry, 15, and Oscar, 13, and daughters Mariam, 7, and Malooka, two, as they build a new life.

Julie said: “After a harrowing 12 days living under bombs and gunfire, having their lives threatened at multiple turns, they were able to escape with their lives and the clothes on their back.

“They have left behind everything. Their family, including Jen’s husband Mo, career and school, all their possessions, their home and everything in the world they owned.”

Brits being evacuated from Khartoum last month (PA)

Jennifer thanked the scores of people who have so far pledged cash to help them make a fresh start, saying: “I can focus on settling my children. It really means a lot.”

The UK Government’s evacuation mission in Sudan was heavily criticised after Brits said it took too long to arrange rescue flights while diplomats were airlifted.

British people still trapped in the country have also described being forced to choose whether to fly home without family members who were not allow on evacuation flights.

It has been reported that many have decided to stay in Sudan rather than be separated.

The UK Government has defended its evacuation procedure, saying it had far more nationals to rescue than any other country.

It said: “Preventing a humanitarian emergency in Sudan is our focus right now.”

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