We place mats on the ground. Almost all the children are on the ground, either on mats or their mothers’ wrappers – provided they sleep and wake up peacefully in the morning.
Frank, 57, teaches at a secondary school in the Agbokim village, located in southern Nigeria.
He grows cocoa and cassava (a root from which tapioca is extracted). The earnings were enough to give his family of six a comfortable life.
Even so, Frank felt he needed to do more. He recently opened his heart – and his home – to 28 refugees.
They are mainly women and children who escaped from violence in the neighbouring Cameroon.
Clashes between the military and separatists there has resulted in bloodshed and political turmoil. Over 40,000 people have fled the country since last October.
Frank, a deeply religious man, didn’t turn away those who came knocking. Incredibly, he has been able to make ends meet.
“God is helping us greatly. As the father of the home, I have to add more struggle to be able to cope,” he says.
“’We place mats on the ground. Almost all the children are on the ground, either on mats or their mothers’ wrappers – provided they sleep and wake up peacefully in the morning.”
The struggle is worth it, as far as Frank is concerned. Refugees in Nigeria find it hard to get by, without the support of family or good samaritans.
They rarely receive aid from international agencies. They have no access to healthcare or education.
Setting up camps for Nigeria’s growing number of refugees will take time. But until then, Frank’s open and sacrificial spirit will continue to be a beacon of hope.
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