Wednesday, 22 April 2020

When it all makes you numb...

We visited a village on a work trip and one of my colleagues seemed so fascinated by something. I saw her trying to take a photo but I hardly paid attention as there was a lot happening.
Much later she showed me this photo:

Look closely at the drawing 
Your guess is as good as mine! My heart broke at the realisation.
Since coming to this country, many things that seem to be normal to people here are things that I do not find normal in any sense of the word.

In communities, young lads and old walk around with guns like they are toys, it is such a normal part of everyday living and I've heard of how boys aspire to want to pick up arms some day.
From speaking with some of the locals, they've mentioned to me that the notion of work carries very little weight with the young ones as they can easily make money by setting up check points and walking around with guns.


Central African Republic is a country ravaged by conflict. I've written some posts on the country since I've been here. These: this post  and this one might give you an idea of things, but I would encourage you to do some research if you are interested in knowing as these are all my personal thoughts.


When an image like this is what comes to mind for a child to draw, it is indicative of a deeper issue which is scary. Some of these children have only ever known the current situation of conflict so they've never witnessed the times when there was peace. In the world over, there is a generation being born into conflict - in Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Myanmar, Ukraine etc.


On some days, I get discouraged in my line of work.  I ask myself how much a government needs to and can do, and if our work actually helps. I ask myself what motivates some people who seem to be born to create chaos, but on the other hand, what motivates people like me who risk our lives to be on the front lines. Although we humanitarian/aid workers are frontline workers in war/conflict situations; we get targeted, we are not exempt, we get kidnapped and killed by sometimes the very people we are trying to save/help. But for some who are in the most vulnerable conditions, we continue to do what we do.

I am thinking of the child who drew this and I am wondering what might have been on his/her mind. I wonder what the child might have witnessed and if the child can ever get any psyhcosocial care if needed. From witnessing so much violence, suffering, fighting and pain, people tend to go numb...which is a point I hope never to get to.
What hope does this child have? I'll never know...







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