The Experience of a Registered Nurse in Refugee Camp at the Libya/Tunisia Border
Sister Suad is a very kind person that we met at the refugee camp. She is very patient and does not complain about anything. Suad is a professor that taught at the University of Tripoli in Libya. When war broke out, her husband, three children, and herself left Libya for the Tunisian border. ”Life in the refugee camp in Ras Jdir is nothing like life in Tripoli, but this is life”, Suad says, “We all will be tested, and we must be patient.”
She like many others waiting to find a way out to go home to Sudan. We must state that not everyone is lucky as professor Suad. Many refugees here cannot go home, because there is no home like Somalia.
We, the Zakat Foundation (ZF) team, try our best to comfort Refugees like Sister Suad. I must remind you that not everyone is as patient as Suad. The camp we are running called Ras Jdir has approximately 200 families. We are providing meals, medication, and sanitation.
The camp is just about 400 meters away from Libyan border. It is close enough to hear gunfire inside Libya. Everyone passing through the border sees where our camp is placed. In our daily routine we must assist new refugees, when they arrive at the camp. The number of refugees increases daily from 800 to 2,800. Once they are here we must provide them with some basic needs and transfer them to other camps like Shousha.
It is true working in the refugee camp is stressful, but rewarding sometimes. One can have both sadness and joy. Imagine the joy of making 13,000 hot meals and meeting great sisters like Professor Suad. She became our friend, invited us to visit her in Sudan once she reaches home. Who can forget the smile of children here? They do not understand our language but know how to reach our heart.
Soon my assignment here will be finished. I will leave but my life experience will stay with me forever. When I leave someone else will come because the ZF team here is committed to stay as long as there is a need. ZF is delivering services in so many locations to ease pain and suffering of victims of the conflict in Libya. We all must do our share.
Donna Charlene Neil, RN. BSN.
Hear more about Donna’s experiences as she speaks with Jerome McDonnell on Chicago Public Radio’s program Worldview.