As the number of people fleeing across the border passes the million mark, Jason Burke meets the strangers forging family units to replace those splintered by war

This, then, is a family. There is 23-year-old Gloria Keoji, the only adult, and six children. The oldest is 17, the youngest three months. There are five girls and a boy. The ties that bind them are made more of blood spilt than blood shared but, they insist, they are a family nonetheless.

All have their tales of violence, told fast and quietly while looking at the red soil between naked and calloused feet, or staring into the vast blue sky above the bush. These memories are too fresh to confront face on.

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