Three years after the escalation of violence in the restive regions of Cameroon, women, children and families continue to be uprooted from their homes, with displacement figures at 536,107, according to the United Nation’s Children Fund.
Belinda, a pregnant 19-year-old IDP explains why she left her family in the bush for Douala, after their village (KwaKwa) was raided.
Belinda is an orphan, with two younger sisters. She dropped out of school in class 5, because she had no means to continue.
She grew up with her Uncle before the war started. She was 17 years old when the first military raid in KwaKwa village occurred.
“We fled into the bushes, we were terrified. We have been living in the cocoa farm. Life in the bush is so difficult. Some people sleep on cocoa trees, others on plantain leaves on the ground,” Belinda told Gina Informs.
“We had very little or nothing to eat, we were starving, at times we ate roasted plantains, yams and potatoes. Mosquitoes beat us all the time. Because life there was so difficult, I decided to leave the bush and come to Douala to get a job.”
Before Belinda left, she did not know she was pregnant. She heard about other young girls coming to Douala and succeeding. Some of them even came back for their families, and that was her goal.
She borrowed 2000 FCFA and set off for Douala, with no clothes and shoes. After pleading with a driver she was left at the park in Bonaberi. Because she had nowhere to stay, she slept on a businesswoman’s veranda in a bus park that night. The next day she called the driver who had left her with his number, telling him she had no place to stay. A hotel cleaner overheard their conversation on phone and told her he will offer her a job and a place to stay. Belinda happily followed him. Unfortunately, the cleaner was not a Good Samaritan.
“He locked me up in a store room, where cleaning materials in the hotel are kept and raped me severally for two days. I was weak and very hungry,” the 19-year-old said.
Fortunately, the manager of the hotel came by and discovered her. When he asked who she is, the cleaner said she was his younger sister who just came into town from the village.
“I knew that was my only way out, so I denied, I had to tell the manager what the cleaner had been doing to me in the store room.”
A pastor heard about Belinda’s story and offered to take her into his house. The pastor equally took her for checkup. In the hospital, they discovered that she was pregnant for twins. Nevertheless, her hardship did not end.
“The pastor’s wife did not like me, she was very mean to me. So, the pastor said I could not stay there, because he feared for my life.”
A few days later Belinda was taken to a medical clinic in Bonaberi, where she is until date.
“I received a young lady who was malnourished and not in a good state, we did a medical check, we did an echography and we discovered two babies…,” the director of the clinic said.
“We had to focus on her feeding because she is pregnant and malnourished. We are trying to equally raise funds for food, clothes, shelter and her health,” he added
Belinda is still worried about her siblings in the bush, and wonders what may have happened to them.
“My sisters Susan and Brenda are in a bush in Kwa Kwa, they don’t know what has happened to me, I don’t know what has happened to them. I want them by my side… please help me,” she said tearfully.
“I watch the news about the crisis everyday on TV, I do not know if they are still alive or not, but I want and I hope that I get to see them again…”
Sangwe Clovis (THE RURAL DOCTOR) shared Belinda’s story on twitter, you can donate for Belinda and her unborn twins via mobile money to Dr. Sangwe Clovis Nchinjoh (674549980) or to Dr. Tasha Manases (672248493).
You can donate no matter how little through mobile money to Dr. Sangwe Clovis Nchinjoh (674549980) or to Dr. Tasha Manases ( 672248493).
Feel free to contact us through those numbers above (WhatsApp numbers).
— Sangwe, MD (The Rural Doctor) (@TheRuralDtor) November 18, 2019