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Making a Difference for Displaced People

Insurgency in Nigeria has caused much havoc in the northern part of the country, especially the northeast. Many people have been displaced. Most of them have been put in makeshift1 camps or are living in the homes of villagers. 

The Northern RC group came up with2 the idea to visit one of the camps a few kilometers away from Abuja. As soon as we got there, we introduced ourselves and started having sessions with the displaced people. It was difficult not to discharge when hearing their stories, but one had to be the listener.

The living conditions were deplorable, but the spirits of the people were inspiring. Regardless of what the world throws at them, they will keep moving.

A little time out of one’s day can make such a big difference in someone’s life. Their appreciation was more for our coming than for the items we brought. Let’s do this again.

All the RCers were wearing an RC printed shirt, which made the start of the day colourful. The chairman of the group welcomed us. Then other people started showing up.3 We told them the purpose of our visit, explained RC, and then proceeded to have mini-sessions with them. Some of our members interpreted into the language they spoke, which was Hausa.

I had a session with a woman who shared her experience and gave me permission to share it with you. She told me how she and her husband and little boy had to run for their lives, with her being pregnant. Her aunt, who was seven-months pregnant, lost her pregnancy while running. I asked her what was good as of now, and she replied it was having her children alive with her. She also said, “I’m happy you all came to visit us. It means you care. Your presence means more than the gift items we receive.”

I felt some kind of attachment to them, since I’m from Borno state, which has the largest number of Boko Haram4 attacks and displaced persons.

The best part of my day was playing ball with the innocent children. It was refreshing, and we all left happy, with high spirits. 

Hauwa Musa

Kaduna, Nigeria

(Present Time 183, April 2016)

1 “Makeshift” means improvised, temporary.
2 “Came up with” means thought of.
3 “Showing up” means coming.
4 Boko Haram is an insurgent group based in northeastern Nigeria that has killed thousands of people and displaced over two million.

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00