My name is SK and I was born in Cameroon. I am married and have two beautiful children. After attending elementary school and earning my high school diploma, I registered at the Douala Technical Institute of Technologies to major in Hydraulic Engineering. It was while at this prestigious institution that most of my problems started.

Like many students of my generation, I had grown frustrated with the status quo of the socio-political state of Cameroon.

As I was finishing my studies, I decided to join the MRC (Movement pour la Renaissance du Cameroon), a newly founded political party. I started going to political rallies.  A few times, I was taken to the local police station. In fact, to contest against organized fraud and non-democratic tactics the CPDM used to steal the election, a rally was organized during which I was arrested and thrown in jail.

I spent one week in jail. I was continuously tortured. I was arrested with several other people. There were many people in our cell and every morning each one of us was taken to another cell where we were beaten. Police officers used rubber sticks to beat me on my buttocks and the bottom of my feet. After one week of torture, I was released with a firm interdiction to not participate.

After the election, I got a job. I also continued my involvement in the political process. I officially joined the MRC. My main responsibility was to mobilize young people, especially young students and young business professionals to engage in the political process. I constantly traveled across the country to meet with peers and young people.

It wasn’t long before our organization attracted attention from the authorities, who started to monitor our movements. In early 2016, during a meeting with many young people, we were interrupted by police. They stormed in, using smoking gas as well as pepper spray.

handsworldI succeeded to escape, but many did not.

I was arrested shortly afterward, incarcerated in a prison, tortured and beaten for two weeks. My uncle, who is a police officer, used his contacts to free me.

Upon my release, my uncle informed me that  I was on a “blacklist” of those considered dangerous. No one could protect me.

To save my life, I had to make the hard decision to leave my family behind.

I applied for a visa to come to America, a land of freedom.

I am alone here.

But I am alive. I have hope.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Maryanna says:

    SK- I held my breath as I read your words. Your courage and determination to organize youth involvement in political change is an inspiration for us here in the United States where many people have the right to vote but don’t vote. Merci beaucoup pour partager votre histroire. Bon journee!


  2. Carl Sodergren says:

    That is an amazing story, and so well written! Thank you!


  3. Monalisa says:

    If you saw this incredible person walking down the street, you would never imagine this sort of a history. Like so many others fleeing oppression into the arms of hope- an aura of enlightenment is ever present. Happy born day SK🎈🎉🎈🎉😘


  4. Alison says:

    What a frightening story. Grateful you were willing to share. I hope you make many friends here…that you start to feel at home and safe. I wish you the best.


  5. Amazing and inspiring story. Here in America now, many of our freedoms are under threat, and we will have to remain vigilant in order to keep those freedoms alive and offer them to refugees and immigrants.


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