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.