The Spring in Yaounde – about the situation and Covid-19 writes a missionary Sr. Alina from Cameroon

May 2, 2020 // News

The government introduced the isolation and administered the closure of all offices, premises,  and “businesses” on March 23. The rainy season and heavy rainfall do not help in isolation.  Below we include Sr. Alina’s report after a few weeks of this situation, especially for our Donors  and the Adoptive Parents. 

Welcome and best regards from Yaounde! Today is exceptionally sunny, although we have a  rainy season now.  

Thank you very much for the news, help, and for remembering us despite the challenging  situation. 

We trust that the viral situation will calm down in Europe, hoping and praying for it. Much  strength and health. Let the whole heaven watch over You… We are still both on the mission, so  I am not alone. The borders are closed, and the April tickets are canceled. Our missionary sister  was due to go on vacation on April 26. Unfortunately, there was no such possibility. Many  missionaries were due to start a holiday in April or May… However, we are waiting for the news  and opening the borders.  

When it comes to Cameroon, we still today don’t know about the disease state. Although they  reported 860 infected and 17 dead during the last week, no one truly knows the real state… The  situation is beyond doubt a challenging one, especially for health service because it lacks  everything. Hospitals do not have running water, tests, masks, gloves, etc. There is one respirator in a hospital…

The schools have been closed for months, kindergartens, universities, and the borders… They  couldn’t close down the towns and the trade because most people live from hand to mouth. For  them, it would be death by starvation… There are various traffic restrictions on the number of  persons in taxis, buses. The limits are also in offices… From Monday, wearing masks is  mandatory. However, respecting this leaves much to be desired.  

For the first three weeks, the streets were genuinely empty, and everybody tried to stay home,  especially students. Now, more people get out. We are in the wet season, so everybody who has  a piece of the field seeds it and plants vegetables, for the food is more and more expensive.

The churches were also closed until Palm Sunday. However, a faithful group from our parish  celebrated the Way of the Cross outside, every morning at 5:20. During Paschal Triduum, they  changed the decision and allowed 50 faithful in a church at a time, while keeping the proper  distance. As the parish has large rooms and a few priests were present during Easter, the Holy  Masses were held in every place and lasted one hour. It is known that during a celebration, a  Holy Mass lasts three hours here, sometimes even longer… We experienced a beautiful Easter  despite the difficulties. Many children and young appeared, and we could greet them and wish  them well from a distance.  

For us, Lent’s time is the busiest – preparing children for the sacraments, young and adults taking  part in the retreat, etc. … This year, there was a lovely bunch of our children among a group of  200 people who were to receive the sacrament of baptism and communion. The baptism and  communion for catechumens on the Paschal Vigil and First Communion on Easter for baptized.  It was nice to see their enjoyment and commitment… 

They passed the exam very well and were able to receive the sacraments. Unfortunately, they  couldn’t be given due to the viral situation. We are all waiting when it will be possible to receive  them.

On Thursday, the government announced the school return would be on June 1. However, we  don’t know for how long, but we assume that children will go to school until the end of June. It  will be time for finishing the year and giving school grades. Whereas July will be planned for the exams, we do not have any details about that so far, we’re waiting… When the schools are closed, elementary school students have their classes with the help of local TV. Many pupils use this  way of studying. However, many families, including our children, do not have television because they still haven’t got electricity at home. For these children, it’s hard to imagine that they can’t get outside. Some of them heard something about the closure of schools and the virus itself, but they  still do not know what is going on… Some people sometimes come to us, hoping for a piece of  bread. We try to help as much as possible.

It is very similar when it comes to treatment. In the case of malaria, a parent usually neglects a  child during the disease or gives only one dose of therapy, so the illness develops. Lately, our 

Armand was in bad condition, he didn’t eat and wasn’t able to walk… and only then his mother  came for help. If he hadn’t had the treatment, he would have died. He showed up this week, he’s  getting back to strength … strong boy …  

Another challenging situation is in Frederik’s, William’s, and Pierro’s family. Their mother is  sick, so she must avoid any contacts and not catch the virus. It turned out that there was only one  mattress at home where the mother and his youngest child slept on. The rest boys slept on  cardboard boxes. So they received help for buying two additional mattresses. They regularly get  five kg of rice, so that the children have something to eat. Before Easter, we received three  packages prepared by the elementary school in Raciborsko. Thank you very much!!! Thanks to  these three packages and other ones coming from Foundation, other schools, and private Donors, many students received clothes, shoes, etc. For these families, it is a huge help! 

It is impossible to describe everything… we can not complain, God gives us the grace of life and  help, thanks to which we can aid here.  

Dearest, we thank you all, your Charges also, we pray for you in this difficult time … and thank  you for remembering us despite all your efforts! 

We trust Jesus Christ to get us out of this challenging situation and helps us to stop spreading the virus. Let the joy of the Resurrection remain in us, Best Regards!!! Hugs to everyone, strength,  and health… we join the prayer. Sr. Alina.