Solidarity: The little actions that shine the light in the lives of many that dispair.

Anne-Chantal
Posted July 15, 2021 from Cameroon
UBUNTU
UBUNTU: Solidarity between warriors. (1/1)

I have recently been thinking of how little things can make life sweet and it has often made me wonder how much sweeter it will be if those benefiting from these little things could get to taste a bit of the big things, how all their worries could be erased, even if it is just for a while. It will really be a while worth having.

It is strange how this life is with some people who have so much and seem to lack what to do with it, while others have so little yet their hearts yearn to do so much for themselves and others.

I recently got to know of the story of a 7-year-old boy that has stuck to my mind and kept me thinking. 7-year-old Emma is born with Sickle Cell Disease and at 7 one would think he is almost finishing primary school or is somewhere in the middle of primary school. But no, at age 7 little Emma is still in primary one.  This was the first thing that struck me when I was contacted by a young friend working in a local NGO. When I inquired a bit deeper, I discovered that Emma's life has been ruined by not just Sickle Cell Disease which is ravaging his young body but also by the ongoing civil war called the Anglophone crisis which is going on in the English speaking regions of Cameroon.

It so happens that thanks to the crisis Emma has been unable to go to school for close to 3 years reason why while his age mates in the French-speaking parts of Cameroon are in primary class 4 or 5, he is still at the entry point of primary education. Three wasted years which the anglophone crisis has taken from him and which Sickle Cell will not make him overtake easily and even if he could the financial situation his family faces as internally displaced persons, living in a city which is so unkind has been made even worse with the outbreak of Covid19.

Emma's dad is a barrow pusher in one of the markets in Cameroon's capital city, Yaounde. I am certain the man was previously a farmer like many of the internally displaced from the English speaking parts or maybe he had a career but one thing is certain, they certainly at least had family land, a home of their own which they have been forced to flee from because of the war, to come to live in a tiny room, in a  city where they would probably not understand the language which is spoken there, where the man will certainly be cheated by those who works for because he is internally displaced and ina precarious situation.

The whole situation made me so depressed, more so when I heard Emma's mother is heavily pregnant and these babies too may be born with Sickle Cell, for if Emma has sickle cell that means both parents are carriers of the red blood cell disorder, they have Sickle Cell Trait. She should probably have been a farmer too or a flourishing petty trader or businesswoman who the anglophone crisis has transformed into a refugee, a refugee who carries a rare disease and is the mother of one child living with a rare disease and with two more on the way who may also be born with the same red blood cell disorder.

 A truly dismal situation that got me rushing through my support network to find a way out to help. Unfortunately, like Apostle Peter and Paul in the Bible who said" silver and gold I have not but what I have, I give to you.." I told my friend the same thing and racked my brain to provide them with the help I could provide. That is, directing them to someone or to persons who can ease one pressure point and at that moment, the pressure point I could ease up was sickle cell disease. I contacted my able sister and warrior, Arrey Echi Agbor Ndakaw, who immediately answered present. I nosed around for where this family could get help for their son's health and called up several doctor friends who were so helpful.

Then I saw the photos Arrey sent me after meeting the family, she had not only gone there to arrange how her foundation could guide on how to care for little Emma and also provide medications now and then, but she even did more, she had visited with nourishments, food and fresh fruits. I was so touched I could not stop the tear that ran down. That small action by my sister made me realise how sometimes it is not the huge actions that count but the little ones. That is why it is called solidarity. It shows the person it is destined to that even if the person does not have, they care enough to be there and share whatever little they have. It made me feel less depressed as I had been so troubled wishing I could just win some lottery, or lay hands on some huge funds to immediately ease this family's pain and I had felt so so low.

I went to bed that night feeling a tad better as I thought that I may not have given that family the million I wish I had to take them out of all their triple faced troubles, but then by a little willingness to help, which made me reach out to others, we were able to make this family sleep that day, I hope, with the knowledge that even though things may be bleak, but somewhere out there, the is hope and some people will always be willing to lend a helping hand, whether it be a big hand or small one, the important thing is that it is a hand of help.

This story was submitted in response to Revolutionary Solidarity.

Comments 12

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megsmueller
Jul 17
Jul 17

Hello to you my sister Anne. If I were close to you I would hug you. I hope you feel the love. I know what you mean, when you say you want to do so much more than the little things. You are doing well - in God's eyes, there is no comparison and He does not measure either. We are all in a position to help at the right time, at the right place. In my private little corner, I want to do soooo much for people, but I lack resources and sometimes feel helpless (so I know that feeling of helplessness), but I start with little things and to the recipient, these little things are huge! My dear, thank you for looking out for this family! You have been a channel of hope to them. I am sorry to hear that the little child at this tender age had to be a victim of things that he does not even understand yet. He will triumph and he will excel. Praying for him and his family. Thank you for the picture and thank you for sharing your story! Take care.

Anne-Chantal
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dearest Megsmueller,
Thank you so much. Your words have made me feel much lighter. Yes, you have been able to point out exactly that feeling I have so often carried. I remember that one day I had wished I had a whole lot of blank cheques that I could just give to anyone I met with troubles. My inability to have that made me decide to start mentoring, I thought I could guide them to find solutions to their own problems. Thank you, sis.

Rahmana Karuna
Jul 17
Jul 17

Thank you Anne, what a wonderful pressure point relief that must have been for the family.

Anne-Chantal
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dear Rahmana,
I thank God for even being made aware of the situation. It has got me thinking about what is happening to many other persons living with Sickle Cell Disease or some other rare disease in war or crisis situations.

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 18
Jul 18

Dear Ann,
I am in tears too. Tears at all that this young boy has had happen to him, tears for all in Cameroon enduring this terrible war, and tears of joy at the love that World Pulse sisters like you pour into everyone you meet. In addition pure joy to be able to witness and be inspired by what one connection between World Pulse sisters can do, especially our sister Arrey, Ambassador, awarded for her work, her jumping into action showing why she was awarded. I am glad at least that you were able to sleep feeling a bit better. It is because of your loving heart that this all took place.
Sending love,
Tam

Anne-Chantal
Jul 19
Jul 19

Dearest Tam,
Thank you so much for your words and I receive your love with much appreciation.
It is good to have sisters around and World Pulse sisters are even better.
I can't thank Arrey enough. She is wonderful.
My dear this war in Cameroon is hurting so many people. When I came across Emma's condition I spoke to Arrey about the possibility of helping her draft a project that aims at bringing economic empowerment to persons living with rare diseases who have been rendered even more vulnerable as a result of this war. I am sure that the case of this young boy is just 1 in many and I shudder when I think of the plight of the rest and I get even more frustrated at my inability to reach out to them all. It is already a burden to live with a complex illness, then add to this a war, it makes a very heavy cocktail of pain and stress.

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 24
Jul 24

Mama Tam thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. The power of the pulse love and sisterhood is always ever so evident in all who choose to manifest the world pulse spirit of sisterhood and solidarity. I am glad to be on this ride with you all tall amazons and champions.

Beth Lacey
Jul 22
Jul 22

What a lovely story. Arrey is a beautiful woman- and so are you.

Anne-Chantal
Jul 22
Jul 22

Thank you so much sister Beth. She sure is and I am humbled each time I get to work with her.

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 24
Jul 24

Beth thank you so much for the kind words.

It is always a pleasure to work with you manor.

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 24
Jul 24

Dear Manor,
I have been thinking of how to bring this story here and was a happy surprise to log on here after a while and stumble on this first. I am glad you did the honours because I couldn't have been able to capture it so eloquently.
Thank you for all that you do and for always being ready to work with me in this challenging but deeply fulfilling work of advocacy.
I understand the sentiments expressed here only too well because they have been on my mind since then, thinking how to help them even more and hopefully in a more sustainable way for lasting impact.

I am glad the little steps taken were able to make you less worry and sleep too.
Warm hugs and love to you always my dear sis and looking forward to when we start on the project to support such cases easier.

Much love from this end.

Anne-Chantal
Jul 24
Jul 24

Awwww. Thank you so much, sis. I am always humbled when I get to work with you. Thank you for always being there. We will surely get to do that project.
Love from this end too.