18 items tagged "personal testimonials"

Results 1 - 5 of 18

When I have my staying permit I will be able to stand up and talk

Patrick arrived from Cameroon in Holland in 1999. His life here has not been easy, but his faith gives him strength and optimism.

“Of course I had to get used to this new place, in the way everybody has to get used to a different and new country. You have to build up a new life and you have to get to know your new surroundings. But it was not difficult to find a job at the time and I could earn my own living. I am religious, my faith gives me strength, optimism. Yes, I did feel welcome here.”

If there were no PAMA, I would feel less good

Paul arrived from Congo in Holland in 2002. He likes this country and he likes most of the Dutch.

“During my work in my country, I met a lot of foreigners. Some of my friends went to Europe, and when they returned they seemed happy. They had got themselves a living, they brought money back home. So I longed to go to Europe too. I preferred to go to Holland.
At the time I did not ask: 'How is life in Europe?' I just wanted to go there. I did not realise it could be difficult. But it was. The first months in Holland I was suffering, but luckily I could stay with a friend. He introduced me to the way of living here.”

I would like to talk with Dutch HIV positive people

If there would be as much access to medication there as in Holland, Angela would love to go back to Ghana, her country. She misses living in unity with her family and neighbours.

“I live in Holland since 2005; the first three years I did not have documents and that was very difficult. I lost my brother, sister and mother because of aids. My mother was HIV positive, but she did not go for check-ups and they said it was meningitis. My brother died due to a shortage in medication. Sometimes they give you your medicine and sometimes not, because there is nothing in stock.”

Sometimes I feel ashamed to complain

Cheyenne came over from Burundi, because living there became too dangerous for her. Living in Holland has disappointed her, because she has had mixed experiences.

“In Burundi I had a better life than I have here. But after I was tested HIV positive, my husband got violent. Also, over there, there was a very heavy stigma on HIV. Last but not least, there was a war going on between two tribes, the Hutus and the Tutsis. I am a child from both parts, my mother is a Tutsi and my father a Hutu, so we, my brothers and sisters, are mixed children and we did not feel safe there. There was always a conversation about where we belonged. It was very dangerous too. I wanted to stay in Burundi, because I thought that I could manage remaining there. I even paid for my medication myself. It was very expensive but I could afford it.”

lifeboat, HIV - Daring to share

lifeboatdocumentaryLifeboat is a living web-documentary where you can find stories of people living with HIV in Europe. Some of the people you will meet here have never spoken openly about their HIV status. In these films they share with you why they feel they can't disclose. Join their journey. Visit the website lifeboatfilms.org.


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