Jean-Claude’s Story, Central African Republic

Photo by UNHCR/2014.

Photo by UNHCR/2014.

It’s been fifteen years since I joined the humanitarian sector, as I wanted to provide relief to people in need and better understand their reality. The personal satisfaction in this work can be significant and it pushes you to engage in even greater efforts.

Once, for example, I was working with a refugee who was sick. I tried to give him good advice and help him rebuild his life. Then I was told that he had passed away. Surprisingly, sometime later, I received a phone call. “Don’t worry,” said the voice at the end of the line, “it’s not a ghost that you’re talking to”. The refugee was alive and well. Not only had he successfully returned to his country, but he had also been appointed member of the diplomatic corps, serving at an embassy. It was very gratifying to meet him and it is the same gratification that I get from the everyday resolution of problems, when working with the refugees in Pladama Ouaka.

The camp of Pladama Ouaka, near the city of Bambari in the CAR, hosts almost 2,000 refugees from Sudan. I speak their language and, whenever I visit them, we always find solutions to problems. In fact, the biggest challenge in that area is insecurity outside of the camp, which causes many difficulties. We haven’t fallen victims of physical violence, but the psychological pressure was significant, when people were killed during an attack in one of the sites where we were working and staying.


Jean-Claude Ndanga

Field Officer

UNHCR Bambari, Central African Republic

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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