From Kutara: My heart is troubled
Big things do start small. Who would have thought a little idea in 2016 would lead to our frequent visits to Kutara Internally Displaced Camp (IDP)? I never get used to visiting Kutara, the same way I felt on the first visit in November 2016 is the same way I feel every morning we are embarking on another visit. I hardly sleep and it isn’t from a place of anxiety, not sure what it is but I am always awake most of the night. Lots of thoughts and the reoccurring one is who are we God that You would entrust this project in our hands. One thing I am fully certain of is this – God is involved. He has a way of coming through, just like the crazy idea of having a bouncy castle in the camp located in the middle of nowhere for the Christmas party, we randomly thought we should go beyond relief materials to empowering the people of Kutara.
Our fifth visit was nothing short of a miracle, from receiving an anonymous donation of N2,000.00 to Lewa raising funds through Game of Thrones inspired Mugs and Tee-shirts. People reached out asking how they could help, and we received just the right help we needed. We decided to donate five (5) sewing machines to the camp, thankfully we were able to buy three (3) and the story behind the purchase was also a miracle. As at 3.00 pm on Friday before the Saturday visit we hadn’t bought them, and then we get a contact of someone in Suleja and a phone call goes through and the sewing machines were on their way to town.
No visit is ever the same, I always wonder why people would give up their Saturday to travel into the wild to spend the day with a group of people who may never reward them for their time. Our visit has been blessed with the gift of people through volunteering. Below is a summary of our last visit:
- Volunteers: Female – 20, Male – 15 (A friend of mine brought his two little children and I can only imagine what that experience would birth in their lives down the road)
- Medical Personnel: Doctors – 5, Public Health Worker – 1, Pharmacist – 1, Medical Laboratory Scientist – 1
- Medical Examination: Female – 53, Male – 20
So while the people of Kutara are very resilient and we choose to celebrate it all the time, it doesn’t take the fact away that there are issues they are dealing with. One of the medical volunteers told me, in her own words “my heart is troubled”. She said majority of the elderly people in Kutara suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). An old woman told her she doesn’t sleep at night, she wakes up at the slightest sound, unable to sleep back. She keeps dreaming about what happened in Goza (a community in Borno State attacked by Boko Haram), her Blood Pressure was about 217/110, she went on to say she dreams about it even when she’s not asleep.
For every time I go to Kutara I mentally isolate myself from the stories and current realities in the camp to focusing on the activities we scheduled for the day. I hardly sit down with the medical team during the medical examination cos’ the stories have a way of breaking me. During our last visit a 30 year old breastfeeding woman had an enlarged breast (right) with ulceration that was suspected to be malignant. It’s bad enough that they have been displaced, but to deal with life-threatening sicknesses is another thing. Again I would never take the gift of people for granted. Daniel followed up with Nnaemeka (One of the Doctors) and with the help of another Doctor (Onoja) we could get the woman examined in Asokoro General Hospital after the stunts they pulled. To God be all the praise following a history and examination a diagnosis of mastitis with breast abscesses was made. The doctor prescribed some drug and after two weeks during the follow-up visit, the Doctor certified the woman completely healed. Her husband has called me twice to thank us and even mentioned they ae back to the farm now.
This is what we live for, this is what will speak for us when we are gone, these are the legacies we are living for. Our next visit comes up 10th August, 2019. Below are the needs
- Medical Personnel – Doctors, Public Health Workers, Pharmacists, Experts on PTSD
- Relief Materials – Dry food, Toiletries (Sanitary Towel, Izal etc.)
- Educational Materials – Textbooks, Notebooks, Writing Materials
- Seedlings – Maize, Beans, Rice etc.
- Grinding Machines
The list is inexhaustible.
Loads of Love
Friends of Kutara