2 March, 2020

“I was alone… and the whole house collapsed on me.”

In Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, 20 year old Bridget was woken by the roar of her house collapsing around her. That night, more than 370 lives were lost as a cyclone ripped through her town.

“I called for help, but it took more than an hour for people to find me,” Bridget says. “The disaster not only left our family homeless, but I also sustained a spinal cord injury and dislocated my leg.”

Before the cyclone, Bridget struggled with stomach ulcers, eating a special diet to manage. When the cyclone struck, parents’ ability to earn a living was destroyed. Bridget’s family were desperate for money to pay for her treatment after the house fell on her, as well as money to maintain her diet.

“I could see the worry on my parents’ face. They had nowhere to get the money to provide for our basic needs,” says Bridget. “The situation looked hopeless.”

Before the cyclone upended their lives, Bridget worked as a shop attendant. She dreamed of one day starting her own farming business and opening small supermarkets supplying fresh produce from her farm. But when the cyclone tore through, her dream was shattered.

With no money to cover even the most basic medical needs, her dream seemed beyond reach.

Immediately following the cyclone, ADRA was on the ground, providing clean water, sanitation supplies, and emergency food to keep people alive.

The next step was providing Unconditional Cash Transfers. These unconditional cash transfers gave affected families the flexibility to use the cash to meet their most urgent needs rather than buy specific supplies through vouchers. For Bridget and her family, the money helped pay for the medical attention Bridget would have otherwise gone without.

Bridget - Cyclone Idai 2 landscape

“ADRA came to our rescue,” says Bridget. “The money we received was used to cover medical expenses as well as my special diet. I was able to get treatment and I am recovering. The burden for my family is lessened now.”

With her basic needs now met, Bridget is looking to her future and the future of those around her.

“I am a girl striving to become somebody in this life,” she says. “I want to be able to provide my parents a better life and to help other people in our country as ADRA showed me love.”

Tags:  Disaster,