Earnest’s Story

ORUCHINGA, Isingiro, April 15 (HIJRA) – “My friends and I hid in the hills of Congo. We lived in the bush for 2 months.”

With these few words, Earnest Mbonimana (not real names) narrates the harrowing ordeal he went through escaping violence in Congo.

“Gunmen attacked my village, so my friends and I ran away. As I was running, I was shot in my right leg,” the 47 year old explains, sitting on a small wooden stool propping his legless right thigh with his hand.

The gunshot that Earnest sustained, deeply affected his right leg despite all the treatment that his friends provided while they hid in the bush. “My friends cut of my leg because they realized that I would not be able to survive with it,” Earnest said. “They kept treating the stamp till we got to Bunagana.

In May 2011, Earnest walked into Uganda alone. “I lost all contact with my family and to this day, I do not know where they are,” he explains.

Earnest is a long way from where he was 5 years ago. He has been able to rebuild his life in Busheka village in Oruchinga settlement camp. His community and HIJRA gave him a start by constructing a functionally appropriate house for Earnest.

STATISTICS: 575 refugees living in Oruchinga Settlement camp, who have special needs like Earnest, are beneficiaries of Community services interventions.

“I am happy HIJRA helped me construct a house that makes my everyday life easy,” he said. “HIJRA also gave me an artificial limb which has been extremely helpful to me.”

In addition to the monthly rations he receives in form of food from World Food Programme and the daily briquette rations from HIJRA, he digs in his back yard garden. “I try to dig but it is very hard. I am not strong enough,” Earnest revealed.

With a wide smile and a chipper attitude, it is clear that Earnest is not weighed down by his past, but has hope for his future.

By Maxine Kampire



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