“There were eight of them and they are all dead,” says Dieudonné*, a young 13-year-old boy living in Mangina, epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It all started when Dieudonné’s mother fell ill and died. “When we buried Mum, the family was next to her body,” the young boy explains. “Soon after, everyone began to have headaches and diarrhoea.”
After losing his mother, Dieudonné’s father also began to be sick, followed by his brother, sister, as well as his aunts and uncles. “One after the other, they all went to the health centre and died there,” Dieudonné continues. “Only my big sister is still alive but she is at the treatment centre.”
When his big sister was admitted to the Ebola treatment centre, Dieudonné stayed in the little family home alone, the same house that was the starting point of all his hardship. “Everyone who entered our home fell sick,” the boy recalls.
At only 13 years of age, Dieudonné has lost all his bearings, all the people that he loved and on whom he could count. “I don’t have anyone who can take care of me anymore,” sadly explains the young boy, who does not know if his sister will survive the disease. Dieudonné benefits from psychosocial, material and dietary support. Dieudonné was also vaccinated against the disease a few days ago.
The young boy does not what his future will be. “I have to continue to live but I do not know how I will make it,” he explains. “This is serious.”
Translated from French by Darren Ou Yong
Typhaine Daems est Volontaire des Nations Unies, chargée de communication digitale à l’UNICEF RDC. Elle est s'occupe tout particulièrement de la gestion des réseaux sociaux et du blog.
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