Sadia's story: “No one paid attention to my cries”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fidele Nindaginye, World Vision’s child protection in emergencies specialist for this emergency met with eight-year-old Sadia from Ngagala* community, 120 kilometres from Diffa, Niger. She shares her tribute for the great and life changing work of World Vision’s response staff dealing with the Lake Chad Basin crisis. Below are her words.

One day, I was crying alone amidst a crowd of adults. They did not pay any heed to my cries.

I had accompanied my grandmother to receive food from a humanitarian organization, which did not distribute on that day.

Under the scorching sun and heat, after having waited for long hours, with no food to eat, my grandmother suddenly fainted. The crowd, mostly women, immediately surrounded her inanimate body, pouring water all over her but refusing to give her anything and even the precious liquid that could save her from the dizziness. There was no thought as to what to do next apart from pouring water all over my grandmother. I could not understand and started crying.

Protecting children and families is key

My grandmother and I had got up very early in the morning at 5:00 am and walked for about eight kilometres from our home to receive food in Ngagala. The last food we had received was one month ago and we were hopeful to replenish our stock. But now, I was standing here, looking helplessly at my dying grandmother on the ground. No one paid attention to my cries. Instead, I was brutally pushed behind by onlookers, obstructing me from seeing my grandmother. They could not understand that I was afraid of losing the only person who has been taking care of me since my parents were killed by Boko Haram insurgents.

The crowd around my grandmother and my cries alerted the World Vision team who were selecting animators to support the setting up of Child-friendly Spaces at the Ngagala site. The team stopped its work and rushed to the scene.

Through my tears, I saw a movement. The World Vision team was making its way through the crowd and transporting my grandmother. One of them told me gently that they were rushing her to the nearest health centre to save her life and I had to come too. Hearing this soothed my concern and anger over the situation. But I became more anxious when I remembered that the nearest hospital was in N’guigmi, at 12 km from Ngagala I wondered if we would reach there in time?

 World Vision field team works in remote areas, always difficult to access to deliver life-saving support and programmes/@World Vision/Marie Paule Koona

Luckily, the team made it. On arrival at the N’guigmi health centre, my grandmother Goumsou was immediately attended to and received emergency medical treatment. The World Vision team also provided her with some fresh food and drinks, because it was clear that she needed to regain her energy. After several hours under medical examination and good care, my grandmother was released by the health officials and the World Vision team brought us back to our house.

Dedication of humanitarian workers

I was very happy to see my grandmother on her feet again. Arrived at our home, although we had nothing to offer, we were very thankful. My grandmother could not stop bestowing blessings on World Vision staff for having assisted us in a special manner that day. We are really grateful to have such dedicated humanitarian workers in our community.

*Ngagala community in Niger is host to many refugees and displaced families who have been affected by the Boko Haram crisis. Although there are currently three classrooms in the village, all are overcrowded. Many children are still out of school. The community lacks social services and livelihoods for those in need.

 World Vision is responding in Niger providing vital aid to these poor people in the areas of child protection, water, sanitation, food assistance and emergency non-food items.