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“I feel at ease with HI’s psychologist, Olivier”

Emergency Rehabilitation
Democratic Republic of Congo

Following an attack on his home, Heritier, 23 years old, is receiving rehabilitation sessions and psychosocial support from HI's teams.

Heritier, 23 years old, is receiving rehabilitation sessions and psychosocial support from HI's teams.

© Patrick Meinhardt/HI

Héritier, 23, used to captain a crew of fishermen in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. One night, rebels stormed his home, injuring his arm. Now he attends sessions with Noela, one of HI’s physical therapists, who is helping restore the use of his arm and hand. He also sees Olivier, a psychologist with whom he feels "at ease".

"It happened a few months ago. I'd just come back from fishing and I was really tired. When I got home to Minova, everyone was there: my father, my mother - my family - just like every night. We ate together, and at 9 o’clock we went to bed.

"In the middle of the night, the rebels broke down the door. They rushed in and shouted: ‘Where’s the fishermen's captain?’"

"They shot my mother and father on the spot, right in front of me. My uncle tried to run away, so they killed him too."

"I tried to escape out the window, and the rebels shot at me. I was hit in the arm by a bullet. The pain was unbearable. They demanded money so I gave them everything we had: 100 dollars. And then I fainted."

"The neighbors rushed me to hospital in Goma, North Kivu. I stayed there for a month. They treated me, and I met Noela, a physical therapist from HI. She massages my shoulder twice a week. Some nerves were affected, so I need to do exercises to restore the sensitivity in my hand and arm. I also talk a lot with Olivier, a psychologist from HI. I feel at ease with him."

"It is still hard. My parents were murdered right in front of me. I'm alone in Goma. I've lost the use of my right hand so I can't fish anymore. I don’t have any work."

"I live in fear. Nothing will ever be the same again. But I'm still holding out hope. Someday I'd like to have a small business of my own."


Date published: 02/24/20


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