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Miracles can still happen

6 June 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

A caring community, some good Samaritans and two local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have stepped in to help a mentally ill widow who lost everything when her husband was killed by suspected insurgents.

And they have proved that miracles can still happen.

Thirty-year-old Hajja Ya’isa Abba Kaka’s life fell apart five years ago when her husband, a primary school teacher, was found dead on a street in Mafoni, a suburb of Maiduguri. It was suspected that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in a clash with insurgents.

The stress of losing her husband became too much for the mother of two young children. She and her children were living in the ruins of her husband’s dilapidated house. She was struggling to feed her kids and could not work.

Increasingly, her mental health deteriorated. She was depressed and anxious all the time.

But some good Samaritans used social media as a platform to highlight the plight of the mentally disturbed mother. And that’s when the Mafoni community got together to help the widow. They could not bear seeing the hardships Hajja Ya’isa was enduring.

Members of the Mafoni Community Initiative – a local NGO that works to support victims of the insurgency and the poor, and encourages the enrolment of street children in school – soon got to work.

Members of the initiative approached Ibrahim Baba Gana, a representative of the Zulum Go Green NGO and, with the help of the good Samaritans, they managed to trace the whereabouts of Hajja Ya’isa and saw the pitiful state of her living conditions. She and her children were living in the ruins of her husband’s dilapidated home.

They realised the widow was mentally ill. Her children were dressed in rags and they were all starving. They immediately gave Hajja Ya’isa and her kids food and other essentials. But they knew that was neither sufficient nor sustainable.

Zulum Go Green and the Mafoni Community Initiative decided to reconstruct her house.

Gana said: “Once we got clearance from Alhaji Usman, the coordinator of Zulum Go Green, we put on hold our other ongoing humanitarian projects, which included building a mosque in Auno Town, as well as constructing an Islamiya school in the Polo area of Maiduguri, so that we could fast-track and complete the reconstruction of the widow’s home before the rainy season set in. We spent almost ₦500,000 to rebuild the house.”

Ali Alhadj Musa, the secretary of the Mafoni Community Initiative, told RNI that members of the initiative, as well as philanthropists in the community, helped to finance the reconstruction of the house.

“We are almost at the roofing stage and we are confident the house will be completed before August.”

Zainab Usman, who is married to Hajja Ya’isa’s uncle, told RNI it was not only the death of her husband but also the hardships of their niece’s life that had played a major role in the deterioration of her mental health.

“As relatives, we did our best to help her out. But we are poor and we do not have the means to sponsor her children’s education or to get her the proper treatment she needs for her mental illness. We are grateful to Almighty Allah, who has brought the community together to support her.”

Hajja Ya’isa said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of her community.

“With the help of the NGOs, the people of Mafoni have proved that miracles still happen. I cannot believe how kind these people have been to me and they are continuing to help me. Now, my children and I will have a roof over our heads. We get humanitarian aid, such as food and other essentials. I receive treatment to help me stay mentally stable. My life has turned around. I have hope again. I am so grateful to the community and to Almighty Allah.”


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