I’ve been living in Nduta for over a year now. Life’s very hard but in some ways I’m used to it – I actually grew up here, having originally fled my country when I was nine along with my parents, brother and three sisters. I lived here for eight years and then went back home. I had a family there and was completing my nursing studies, but was forced to leave again in 2015.Once I arrived back in the camp, I met an old friend by chance. He recommended that I look for work with MSF. I applied and started off as a translator. After a month-and-a-half I was offered a job as nursing team supervisor, which I’ve been doing for eight months now. My role includes training and managing nursing staff and ensuring there are enough nurses and medical supplies across our department. I also ensure that patients are treated to the right medical standard. Nduta used to be much smaller than it is now. Over the years so many refugees have arrived and the camp has become so big it’s like a city. Although more than 123,000 people live here and the conditions are very poor, there have been improvements in healthcare. However, many refugees, especially the new arrivals, still get sick. We see lots of people suffering from malaria and lower respiratory tract infections. Many people don’t have enough food and clothes. There’s also not enough soap meaning that hygiene becomes a problem and diseases spread very easily. Water is a growing concern in the camp as well – there is less and less available so people are now collecting dirty water from the river. When they drink it they get diarrhea or other diseases that can be serious or even deadly.
The work I do in Nduta can be difficult, but I am not afraid to work hard and help people who need our support. I appreciate the opportunity and I`m proud to be working to help my people, alongside colleagues from all over the world – they make me feel safe and protected. Despite this, I`m also worried about when the time comes for me to leave the organisation and what employment opportunities I’ll have in the future.
But the hardest thing about life in the camp is not knowing the fate of my family. I was forced to flee alone so I don’t know what happened to my parents, siblings, wife and two children. My son is five and my daughter is just four and I’m worried about them. I think of them constantly and wonder if they`re still alive. Without my family, I feel so alone. (January 2017)