A WIGAN mum says she has been overwhelmed with support after being forced to leave her three children in Libya with their father.
Clare Wagner has been raising money to fly over to Benghazi and fight for custody of daughters Laila, nine, Suhaila, five, and son, Tariq Eleman, four, and bring them to her Beech Hill home.
The 29-year-old is organising a charity night at Sam’s Bar, Wellfield Road, Beech Hill, on May 4 from 4pm. There will be live entertainment from singer Ryan James, a buffet and a raffle.
She said: “All the Beech Hill businesses have donated prizes and I have also had lots of support from Wigan Market. I have just been overwhelmed. My friends Diane Marshall and Yvonne Fields have been rallying around and have made knitted dolls and Easter jars. I am so grateful to everyone.”
Clare moved to Benghazi to be with her then husband of 10 years Abdul Munem Eleman in January last year but when she requested to leave, she claims he refused to let her take their children.
She alleges he drove her to the airport and she had no option but to get the plane home in June, as he followed her through security.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not have any power but she has obtained an English court order which states the children are wrongfully retained by their father and he must immediately return the children to her. But this can only be enforced in England.
Clare, who is now divorced from Abdul under Islamic law, said she is unable to make contact with her children, but was surprised with an early morning call from her eldest daughter on Mothering Sunday.
She said: “I was so shocked to hear Laila’s voice. She said she was okay and I told her I missed her and love her. She said their daddy did not want the children to call,
“She said that she had passed an exam at school and I told her I was really proud of her.
“I was happy I heard from her, but I was worried as she sounded withdrawn.
“It is heartbreaking to see how much my children are growing up and I am missing them.”
Clare’s story will be featured in the May 22 edition of Take A Break magazine.
Tickets for the fund-raiser, at £3, are available by calling Clare on 0755 468 2988.