"A light bulb to Kimbau"
My tales as a war surgeon from Nicaragua to Congo, collected by Mariapia Bonanate.
At 26, with a postgraduate qualification in obstetric and gynecology, Chiara left for Nicaragua.
With the passion of a newcomer she devoted herself to giving birth to "niños morenos with lots of hair, when they come out, they shout the beginning of their big adventure, in this strange brave land. Where even surviving is a crazy gamble . But the bet it’s always worth it " as she writes in her letters.
In Waslala, among the Nicaragua mountains, she became for necessity a war surgeon, on the Sandinistas - contras frontline.
Her dreams as a young shortly married woman, and as a doctor who brings life, break against the tragic reality. Death bodies blown up by mines, or mowed down by Katyusha.
For seven years "Doctora Clarita" fights for peace and for the country reconstruction, with total commitment, never resigning herself to escape temptation.
Once finished the Latin America mission she leave to Africa. The mainland she dreamed as a child.
AIFO, (ITALIAN RAOUL FOLLEREAU ASSOCIATION) entrusted to her the management of a ghost hospital, deserted by the Belgians in Kimbau, Bandundu Region, Zaire (today DRC).
It is the discovery of a wonderful and merciless Africa, charming and upsetting with all its contradictions and never healing wounds.
The only doctor for one hundred thousand people, in a 5.000 square kilometers area, also after the mutilation she keeps on fighting to save human lives and to promote the right to health.
In the forlorn villages among the forest, and in the four hundred patients hospital, without water or electricity, she is for everybody “Mama Clara”.
When the conflict between Mobuto and Kabila bursts, the already difficult country condition became dramatic.
In the letters Chiara writes candlelight on an old Olivetti, she shouts about the massacres, the violence and the inhumanities, the thousands of people martyrdom, the Ebola plague, the spread of AIDS and TBC. Those evils are the inescapable result of poverty and injustice, abuse of power, answerabilities of governments which use the ethnical conflicts for their economical interests .
But Chiara doesn’t give in.
Together with her are the memories, the faces, the Nicaragu’s events that merge with new challenges and new adventures, joining Latin America campesinos with Congoleses in a single harrowing gamble: don’t deprive the poors of the hope in a different future.
Seven years of a hard life, never finished stress: that is how the letters of Chiara Castellani MLAL voluntary surgeon in Nicaragua are. Letters she writes to familiars and friends while she attends, on the frontline, the victims of the bloody conflict between Sandinistas and contras.
"Women who change the world"
Tales about solidarity, humanity, tangible support in the poorest countries. But also in Italy, in France, by women who operate in first person in marginalization and suffering areas.
A chapter is dedicated to Chiara.
The volunteers’ and missionaries’ epic in Uganda war
Nimetoka Italia" ByMarco de FeowithFrancesca Faramondi, is a rather cruel book, because it tells, through tens live interview, the witness of who has been involved in 27 years of war in Uganda. Standing up for hospitals, missions, leper colonies, schools, orphanages and people, a lot of time, risking their life.
The Ebola plague, the child soldiers, the refugee camps, the landmines, and a 360 degree report about the international appetites (weapons, coltan, gold, diamonds, water) which sustain a conflict.
A Repubblica reporter reviewed it so: “of an uncommon intensity, very substantial, but arduous”
A book chapter tells about Chiara experience and about the difficult relations among Uganda and Congo.
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