Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mariam's Moving Story

Help Mariam
This is Mariam Stanford who is an albino being admitted at Murgwanza Hospital in Ngara District where she is under treatment after her both arms were cut because of superstition that albino’s bones are useful in local mineral mining and fishing. She was admitted on October 17, 2008 in Ward 4 (Surgical Ward) in private room.

Mariam (28) is the third child of the family of nine children of Mr. Stanford Bandaba, the resident of Mkatoke Hamlet, Ntobeye village, Ngara District in Kagera Region.

Mariam is the first among three albinism daughters of Mr. Bandaba’s family. Others are Jane and Odetha. She was born in 1980; she was educated for only four years at Ntobeye Primary School reaching class IV. She did not complete primary education. Later she became a peasant, digging for her daily needs by selling ripe bananas at small market at Ntobeye.

She was married in 2004 to a non-albinism husband. In 2005 they had their first son who was normal/non-albinism. Life continued until June last year when her husband’s relatives including father and mother-in-law told her that she was a curse to their family and rejected her out-rightly because they were afraid that her children would also be albino.

Mariam did not want to leave because her husband loved her so much and kept comforting her. But she soon lost her patience and returned to her parents with her son. However, she did not know that she was pregnant, something she knew a month later.

When she was four months pregnant, her husband asked her to come back. This was after Mariam had informed him about the pregnancy. She agreed to go back on the condition that they would both stay away from her husband’s relatives. Her husband promised to do so by October 28, the time he will have found a new place to stay peacefully.

The worst day in her life came on October 17. It was 1am (0100hours) Friday when she felt that she was dreaming after something happened. She was excited to see a light in her room where she was sleeping alone.

Without knowing what was happening, she heard the sound of her young ones crying “Open for us”. She heard the sound aside telling her to’ wake up and go outside because there is something for her to be told. She refused, but later she identified the sound of the one who was calling her. She asked him (the caller) what he wanted to tell her in the midnight that couldn't tell her when they met during the day when she was back from shop. And so she refused. At the same time she heard some people walking around their house while her young ones were crying for a help.

Mariam said that a young boy who is a resident of that village (Ntobeye) put down the torch and held her right arm which he cut. While she was screaming and asking for help, her right arm was thrown outside to others. Before the second arm was completely cut; her parents, brothers and sisters had heard the noise and ran to Mariam’s room. The bandit who was cutting the second arm decided to run away. On the way out, he collided with Mariam’s father. This enabled Mariam’s brother (who was coming from inside) to catch him while other bandits ran away with the right arm.

Mariam was taken outside with blood gushing from all parts of her body. Nobody believed she was alive. Her mother, Gaudensia, called her twice without reply. Later Mariam replied saying that she heard her calling but she was unable to reply due to the great pain she had. Neighbours also offered assistance, while the bandit who was caught by Mariam's brother was thoroughly beating.

She was taken to hospital but unfortunately doctors failed to replace the second arm (left) and so they decided to cut it too. Now Mariam has lost her left and right arms.
Please read the following e-mail (unedited) and decide if you want to help Mariam or not. But you should exercise caution in doing so.
Congratulation for Christmas and New Year 2009

This is the true incidence. This story was first broadcasted in Kiswahili by REDIO KWIZERA which is based in Ngara District working under JESUIT REFUGEES SERVICE. I just translated it. I invite you to read it.

I have visited Mariam several times in last and this year. On behalf’ of Mariam and her relatives, I ask your aid/assistance to her due to the fact that currently when she is admitted in hospital and after her discharge she will no longer have ability to work herself and her son. Currently is cared by her mother. Unluckily few days ago she aborted.

Mariam told me that when she will get discharge she is not willing to go back home (Ntobeye) for fear of her security. She said she want to remain in Ngara town (District HQ). With others she was asking for artificial arms and a house for her residence in Ngara. Fortunately she has already got a donor to go to Referral Hospital named Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) to get artificial arms. Ngara District Council promised to offer her freely a plot for building her residence in Ngara town.

Please send your support through her personal account No.3211601173 with National Microfinance Bank Ltd, Ngara Branch named Mariam Stanford. Support of materials or anything which is not money needs communication for some arrangements on how to reach to her.

Kindly, (for your willing) I ask you when you do so; inform me and a copy to the coordinator of the aids in REDIO KWIZERA, Mr. Emmanuel Buhohela with the mail:

The RADIO KWIZERA announces who supports Mariam. Please, if you do not want to be announced let me know.

Thanks in advance.

Charles Mbeikya

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