Watch Out and Stay Safe in Times of Crisis

Sophie Ngassa
Posted January 20, 2017 from Cameroon
Staring at my mentees scalp
We all looked at the wound on her head with pity.
The plaster on her scalp.
The plaster on her scalp.: She opened her braids to show us the big plaster that covered the stitches. (1/2)

Presently my beloved country Cameroon is going through serious challenges. The English Speaking Regions have been marginalized for too long. They have been complaining but nothing seems to change. Condition only gets worse and now the population is very angry. The population of these two regions have been pushed to the wall and today they have decided to speak out and protest. This reaction has caused a lot of violence in the last weeks causing people to lose property and some have lost their lives in the course of demonstrating.

A “Ghost Town” was declared some days ago, during which nobody was expected to be seen on the streets till the close of the day. There was a sit down strike in the South West and North West regions of Cameroon.

Unfortunately my mentee made a trip on that day from Douala to Beua, that is, to one of the regions concerned. It was at 5 pm that the bus driver made a call asking if he could make the journey to Beua, hoping that the day had ended indicating that the strike was over. He got a reply assuring that it was good for him to travel. He took a big risk that evening and headed to Beua with the passengers on board. They took off safely until they arrived one last town before their destination. At this big roundabout they met angry strikers who stoned their bus heavily. The huge stones shattered the glasses of the bus and wounded her head seriously as well as some other passengers.

My mentee had received a serious blow in the head and blood oozed out nonstop and 5 other passengers were seriously injured. She cried out for help as the blood flowed from the open wound on her scalp. Luckily for her a Good Samaritan who was passing by felt sorry for her, helped her to a nearby hospital where she received treatment with some other passengers from the same bus. She spent the night there in pains after receiving 10 stitches on her head. The strike lasted for one day and the next day things went back to normal. After resting for another day she travelled back to Bamenda, her home town.

I had planned an event for girls in my community to talk about opportunities for women in Technology and World Pulse platform. My mentee was one of the presenters and she was present. By then I did not know what had happened to her. But I noticed that she was uncomfortable. It was visible that she was in pain but we could not determine what the problem was.

It was during her presentation on her experience as a women in tech field that she decided to share her story about what had happened to her a few days ago. It was difficult to believe what she said. Then she opened the braids on her head and showed us the big white plaster on her skull. We screamed and all felt so sorry for her and tried to comfort her. She left the event really feeling better with a smile on her face making us very satisfied as we hugged her.

It was in this forum that she heard about World Pulse; a safe place to share your stories, free your mind and receive encouragement from sisters. It is said “A story shared is a problem half solved”.

She became very motivated and asked me to share her story and put her picture up, so that other girls can learn from her experience. At the end of the meeting she joined the World Pulse platform.

Latter on she told me that despite the pains she felt, she could not afford to miss this event because she was sure that she was going to gain a lot out of it. She is one of my very dedicated mentees who believes in my vision.

Sisters, when there is tension in any of our different communities, please let’s stay safe and indoors if possible. My sisters in Cameron please stay safe we cannot afford to lose you.Your life matters.

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Comments 4

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Adanna
Jan 26, 2017
Jan 26, 2017

Dear Sophie,

I am glad you are introducing other sisters to World Pulse :)

Sending my love to all especially the sister who sustained an injury.

Please be safe!

Love,

Adanna

Sophie Ngassa
Jan 30, 2017
Jan 30, 2017

Thanks Adana,

Yes we are safe. Thanks for concern.

Love, Sophie.

ncycat
Feb 06, 2017
Feb 06, 2017

This was a powerful and moving story, thank you for sharing it with us.  I admire the courage and determination you and the young women you mentor share. I hope there are no more injuries and that your important work will continue unabated.

Nancy 

Sophie Ngassa
Feb 23, 2017
Feb 23, 2017

Dear Ncyat, Thanks for the encouragement.Despite the challenges we have to keep moving.

Sometimes there is violence but we do our best to stay out of it.