I am a girl affected by conflict

Ngwa Damaris
Posted December 4, 2018 from Cameroon
As a girl affected by conflict
As a girl affected by conflict

 I am a girl affected by conflict. I hail from the North West region of Cameroon which has been going through a crisis since 2016 that has led to violence, resistance, deaths, displacement, sexual harassment, poverty, diseases, loss of education and more. I have gone through a lot for two years this struggle has been going on. From watching people being killed on daily basis, to education being disrupted, curfews and restriction of movement, people losing their jobs and businesses, poor housing conditions and all other dilapidating conditions that arise as a result of war.

As a girl affected by conflict, I realized this scenario was affecting me not only physically but psychologically. The thought alone makes me live in continuous fear because I feel I could be raped, I feel I could get a stray bullet so I am always uneasy. Sometimes when the violence is so much I have to seek shelter and security in the nearby bushes or other homes. Sometimes I am in these bushes with nothing to eat drink or lie on. At times I have to manage my menstrual cycle with no sanitary napkins to use so I let fate take care of me during that period. I realized because of the poor hygienic conditions during this period my health was negatively affected as well and another problem I faced was meeting a doctor which is sometimes very difficult. Sometimes, I can’t go to work so I barely get a salary to take care of myself at the end of month therefore poverty is another issue I am faced with.

As a girl affected by conflict, I decided to learn how to care for myself during this period because I realized it’s the best thing to do. Firstly, I decided to go learn basic first aid on how to handle female related issues and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).These will help me handle first aid for myself and those around me before we are able to meet a doctor. As regards my health, I involved myself in the World AIDS day celebration on the 1st of December with the theme “Know your status” so I got tested and knew my HIV status. I also try to carry out regular checks on my genital organs and other vital organs whenever there is available means. I abstain from unprotected sex to free myself from unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases etc Secondly, I try as much to stay safe by avoid being alone, avoid getting in contact with armed men, less or no night activities, dress properly etc. Thirdly, I work of my mental health. I get in contact with people both online and physically who mentor and boost my moral and give me the strength to keep going. That way I feel less depressed and traumatized. I also try to educate myself as much as possible on the laws and rights of citizens and armed groups during conflict. This helps me stay on tract and avoid further damage to myself. To address the issue of poverty, I carry out small farming in safe areas so that I could feed myself. I also carry out small scale businesses when possible so that I could get my basic needs in case I can’t go to work and it also keeps me busy.

As a girl affected by conflict and considering what I have gone through and what I am currently facing, I see the need to care for myself and other women around me who are facing similar situations. To assist them with their physical and mental well-being, I am currently doing mentoring to women in my community. I mentor them both online and through talks. I educate them to empower themselves, keep themselves safe from violence and diseases. I encourage them and give them ideas on how to economically empower themselves despite the current situation. I also have talks with armed groups on how to treat women during conflict. Above all, I encourage women to speak out. I educate them on all the safe platforms available to hear from them so that they could be helped out of this current situation.

 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Caring for Ourselves.

Comments 20

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Jill Langhus
Dec 04, 2018
Dec 04, 2018

Hi Damaris,

Thanks for sharing another excellent post. I love that you're not only practicing extreme self care for yourself during these trying times, but that you are sharing your skills and knowledge to other women to empower them. Very impressive.

I hope you're doing well, and having a good day!

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 05, 2018

Thanks Jlangus, I am doing ok and trying hard to survive this moment :)

Jill Langhus
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 05, 2018

You're welcome:-) Oh, no:( Sorry, to hear that. Send me a private message if you would like some support or help, dear. You don't need to suffer in silence:-(

Rosylyne Nabaala
Dec 30, 2018
Dec 30, 2018

We love you sis thank you for sharing.

ARREY- ECHI
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 05, 2018

Hello Damaris,
Courage sis. I could envision some of the things coupled with what we hear daily and can only cry silently.
You are a courageous person as you strive to take care not only of your self in such a difficult situation but also of others. May God keep you all going.
Thank you for sharing.
Hugs to you and be safe.

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 06, 2018
Dec 06, 2018

Its so sad dear.I wish our administrators could have conscience and solve this problem.

Tarke Edith
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 05, 2018

Hi Damaris
thank you very much for sharing our troubles to our sisters over there sis i wounder what may happen the next day or minute i leave in total fear all the time ,well let us look up to God alone.

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 06, 2018
Dec 06, 2018

My dear...........the situation is bad.In God we thrust !!!!!!

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 05, 2018
Dec 05, 2018

Hi Damaris, thank you for this post and thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge. Thank you for your effort you put in for these women.

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 06, 2018
Dec 06, 2018

You don't have to thank me :) my dear , its our duty to be one another's keeeper because "no one understands a woman better than another woman"

J Brenda Lanyero
Dec 06, 2018
Dec 06, 2018

So true.

Vitalis pupi
Dec 07, 2018
Dec 07, 2018

Hi damaris
God has already blessed you,he has given you the power to conquer spirit of anxiety.be bless dear

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 07, 2018
Dec 07, 2018

Thanks Vitalis

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 08, 2018
Dec 08, 2018

Dear Damaris,
Your message is a powerful reminder of the urgency in which we must find ways to push for an end to all wars, everywhere. By sending out the realities you are facing daily, you have given us the strong reminder and information we can carry, that this war in Cameroon must be stopped. As a global community many of our governments benefit from the destabilization of countries and are complicit through silence. I hope that many WorldPulse sisters will press our own national news reporters to cover what is happening to you, and press through the UN and through international business relations, to insist on peace. Your message also and so importantly sends out such explicit, important and helpful advice to women everywhere in how to stay safe in areas where war is happening. I hope that you feel some support through this, our WorldPulse network. I will not forget, and continue to press news stations here to pay attention to what is happening in Cameroon.

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 08, 2018
Dec 08, 2018

Self interest is really killing us...I will be glad if you help spread the news of what’s going on in Cameroon. I am also not relenting in trying to bring peace in whatever way I could. I am also seeking to assist my fellow ladies in times like this

Lisbeth
Dec 17, 2018
Dec 17, 2018

Hi Damaris,
I love your picture. Is that you? Nice posing :-) with great background.
Hope you are having a great day. :-)

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 26, 2018
Dec 26, 2018

Thanks dear. Yes that’s me :) have a great season too

Lily Habesha
Dec 18, 2018
Dec 18, 2018

Damaris,
You are a real fighter.

Glad to know you.

Lily

Ngwa Damaris
Dec 26, 2018
Dec 26, 2018

Yes my dear,we must keep fighting to survive!!! A pleasure knowing you too:-)

Lily Habesha
Dec 18, 2018
Dec 18, 2018

African Girls!!!!

Lily