My Mommy is Dying, My Brother is Dying
Why are so many Mommies dying? Why are so many children dying? What are the feelings of those watching, and then left?
War, pestilence, and famine exist for political reasons, not for lack of technology or resources.
Smallpox has been eradicated from the wild.
There are effective methods of preventing or treating
- River Blindness
and many other diseases. The cost would be some tens of billions of dollars annually, something on the order of another hundred dollars per poor person. In some cases, treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is required before proper diagnosis and treatment can begin, and major social programs are needed to remove the stigma from victims.
Amputations, mutilations, torture, and rape are still in use as methods of war, and for various social purposes. Civilian populations are at risk from left-over munitions, including land mines, cluster bombs, and others.
Food aid is too often treated as an agricultural program rather than a humanitarian program. The US insists on shipping food aid from the US on expensive US flag ships rather than providing money for purchasing food from neighboring countries.
There are extremely effective health programs in a number of countries, including Partners in Health, originally in Haiti and now in various other countries.
People always die of something. But it doesn't have to be so soon, and it doesn't have to be for lack of care.
My Mommy says, Don't tell outside people your name. I have to carry water and food to Mommy every day, because she cannot get out of bed much, and she cannot live in the village anymore. She got very sick in the war time, and nobody will let her near their homes. They all say, She is dirty. I told them I wash her, but they said it is not that kind of dirt. I asked, What kind is it, then? but they don't tell me. They say I am not dirty, so I can go to their houses. Some women give me a little food, and I always take some to Mommy. Some women give me medicine for Mommy, but she is still sick even when she gets medicine.
Daddy went away in the war time, when the war people came. Some of the war people killed our men, but other war people wanted to take them away to be more war people. We do not know where Daddy is. The other farmers mostly ran away, too. Anyway, last year there were no farmers here, and women and little children had to farm. Later, some farmers came back. They are trying to farm all of the farmland, but there are not enough of them. They say that there is more food now for each family because each farmer has more land to farm and there are fewer people. Mommy and I can't farm, so we have less food than before.
After the war ended my brother left the war people. He went somewhere for awhile, and then came back home. He does not want to tell me where he went, or what he did in the war time. He does not want to tell anybody about that time. He says he cannot talk about it, but he dreams about it. He said, I cannot tell you how bad it was with the war people. Later he met some good people who helped him so he could come home, but he does not want to talk about them either, because it makes him think about the very bad time. He has scars on his head and on his arms.
My brother works for a farmer most days, but he coughs a lot, and some days he cannot work. He buys food and medicine with the money he makes, but the medicine does not make him better. He says he does not hurt as much when he takes the medicine. He says he wants to get all well and get a real job and make money to feed Mommy and me and buy real medicine for her and build her a real house even if she is dirty. But some people tell him he will get dirty if he lives in the same house with Mommy.
Some doctor people came here and gave some people medicine and fixed some injuries and a bunch of people got well. They said that Mommy needs different medicine that they did not have with them. She would not let them look at her, but they know anyway. They say Mommy is not dirty, just sick because of something the war people did to her in the war time. My brother needs different medicine, too. The doctor people say they will come again sometime with the right medicine, and with someone who can help Mommy so that the doctor people can look at her and give her medicine. But I don't know when that will be.
They said that the water from the river is making people here sick, but we don't have any other water to drink. One of the doctor people showed some people how to make clean water with pots full of sand and charcoal. The man who makes pots in our village learned how to make the clean water pots, and is going to make them and sell them in the village so people don't get sick from the river. I like the doctor people, but I have not told them my name, so they made up another name for me that means Little Friend of the Whole World. I said, That name is wrong. I do not know everybody in the world so I am not their friend. They say, We know you, and you are the friend of everybody in the village, and everybody from outside who comes here. So the name will be right, even if not yet. I do not think I am a friend of the war people, but the doctor people said that the war people are just people now, like some of the farmers who came back here, and I can be their friend now.
I would like to become a doctor person, and cure my Mommy and my brother and other sick people and help my Mommy not to be dirty anymore. The doctor people say, It is hard to become a doctor. But one of them said, I will help you. She told me how I can learn to help people be healthy even before I learn all about how to be a doctor person, and even without teachers here, but I do not understand how she says I can do that. I would have to get a computer and learn all about how to use it. She showed me a box she can open up and make pictures on the inside of the lid when she pushes things on the bottom of the box. Some people in the village say that I should not learn to be a doctor person or how to use the computer. My doctor person friend says she will make it so I can talk to her when she isn't here, and then we will make the other arrangements, and then when I can start learning I will understand all about it. I hope so. She says that then I can talk to you myself and tell you more about living here in the village, and my Mommy, and my brother, and everything, and be your friend. She says it will even be safe to tell you my real name.
Presumably we can find similar stories in real life, and get a book and documentary together.