Carolina* holds her four-year-old daughter Ana* in front of white tents set up in a temporary camp in Mozambique where Cyclone Idai has caused catastrophic damage.

A Family’s Story of Surviving Cyclone Idai

As Cyclone Idai was barreling down on Mozambique, Carolina* and her children, including four-year-old Ana*, ran for their lives. The family sought shelter in a nearby building as their home crumpled under the force of Cyclone Idai’s powerful wind and deadly flash flooding. When the roof of the building they were taking refuge in collapsed around them, Carolina and her children were left with absolutely nothing.

Eventually, the family found space in a school where they felt safe. Carolina’s family, including her young children, spent two days without food before receiving aid. 

“I haven’t seen anything like this in my life, Carolina said. “We’ve lost everything but thank God I’m alive. Because if I’d stay in our house that collapsed, I wouldn’t be alive.”

Carolina and her family are now living in a temporary camp set up by a COSACA, a consortium of organizations including Save the Children. They, like thousands of families in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi affected by Cyclone Idai, are desperate for shelter materials so they can rebuild their home.

Cyclone Idai is one of the worst disasters in southern Africa in decades. The full scope of devastation grows more shocking every hour as emergency response teams arrive in cut-off areas of battered and flooded Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The needs of affected children and families also grow in urgency with every passing hour.

Thanks to the support of our donors, Save the Children is on the ground helping children and families devastated by Cyclone Idai. Please donate to Save the Children’s Cyclone Idai Children’s Relief Fund to help Cyclone Idai survivors. Your donation can provide lifesaving relief.

*Name has been changed to protect identity


We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add to your contact list.