Bello is 37 years old and a mother of five with one on the way. In 2013, Bello fled her home in Karno, Central Africa Republic (CAR). She told us, “War came to my village.”
It all happened so fast. One night, Bello and her family were awakened by the sound of gunfire. She said that everybody panicked. Her whole family fled as fast as they could in every direction. As a result, she was separated from her four siblings and her husband.
Bello walked alone with her children for days. When she arrived to Cameroon there was no help. She was homeless with her children. They were living in the forest and eating just one meal a day. Everyday, Bello would ask herself, “How am I going to get through this suffering?”
Eight months later, Bello received assistance from humanitarian organizations who helped with finding housing, food rations, and education for her children. Through word of mouth, her husband eventually found her in Cameroon. However, she has not seen her four siblings since the night she fled.
Today, Bello is a cook at one of the JRS preschool centers in Boubara, a village that hosts a refugee site. Her voice and presence has been so meaningful during the Little Ripples Teacher Training. She has been open and honest with everyone (us, and her fellow teachers and cooks) about her experience as a refugee.
Bello shared that before the war she had a happy and good life in CAR. Now, she feels good and at home here in Cameroon. She told us, “All I hope for now is for my kids to go to school and to grow up to be good people with good ideas.”
At the end of our time with Bello today, just before saying our goodbyes and see-you-tomorrows, she looked at us with sincerity, and said, “The (Little Ripples) training makes me feel good in my heart. I will transfer what I learn to the classroom and to my home. It gives me good knowledge.” She patted her heart and her head and gave us a reassuring smile.
iACT is excited to announce our partnership with Dana Abraham, author of the children’s book In the Arms of the Grandmother Tree. We were connected with Dana after learning about how the book’s themes parallel iACT’s practice of incorporating trauma-recovery approach,...
…the core of our work: investing in the people themselves to increase their agency, voice, and ownership of their lives. This objective is the same everywhere. Our approach is the same everywhere. This week, it is what sparked a CLEANING REVOLUTION.
My hope is that the time we spend working together toward a common goal—a better future for all of our children and community—will also create peace and joy in their hearts and daily lives.