Living in a safe environment is an inherent desire of all human beings. When one’s natural habitat becomes infested with constant armed confrontations couple with endless verbal threats upon one’s life, regardless of how strong one may be or how much one loves the place, sometimes the best you can do is to sheepishly bow out. This is the story of thousands of migrants who have left their homes in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon. “In spite of my feeble health, the only alternative was to forgo all the beautiful memories and run for my life,” 49 year old Dogmo Clair explains.
Clair migrated to Kumba some 15 years ago. The welcoming nature of the people made her quickly built her niche in the community where she lived and called it home. She did not only fully integrate into the community life-style in kumba, but also she went further to build a house for herself and her children. “I never saw myself ever living my home but the crisis pushed me out of my home back to my parents’ house in Dschang. As if that was not enough, I lost everything; my house was completely burnt down with everything I had toiled and acquired for this past 15 years, all went into thin air,” she recalled in a melancholic mode.
In addition, Clair was psychologically traumatized, which had a direct impact on her health. To make matters worse, Clair did not know where or how to go about to get her ART treatment which caused her to default. Defaulting from treatment exposed Clair to advanced diseases like toxoplasma which paralyzed one part of her body and made it difficult for her to utter a word.
While every hope was gone and Clair sat in her parent’s yard waiting for the cold hands of death to embrace her, she paradoxically received the Dschang HIV-FREE IDP Project Team. Through their assistance, Clair was linked back to care, her consultation and treatment for the advanced disease was fully paid for by the project. The team also offered psychosocial counselling to this traumatized lady which really made her to want to live again. “They literally gave me reasons to live again. I had lost all hope and knew I couldn’t stay back to fight for my children anymore, but they made me see that all is not lost,” she mumbled
Clair can talk and walk again by herself. Today, she seats every morning in her father’s yard not to wait for the cold hands of death to claim her but to look at the glimpse of hope that rises every morning with the sun. That same hope that makes her believe all hope is not lost despite being away from where her heart truly is – Kumba.
Clair could not have lived to tell her story without the assistance of the IDP Project with financial support from CDC/PEPFAR.