The letters and emails on this page reflect the thoughts and experiences of patients that have visited Okonguarri and wanted to express their gratitude in written form.
All information on this page has been voluntarily surrendered to Okonguarri and, where relevant, permission has been obtained from the author(s) for publishing thereof on this page on the website of Okonguarri. The information is reproduced here in its original form, without any alteration, except for spelling & grammar amendments where necessary. In order to protect the privacy of our patients, every effort has been made to remove any personally identifiable information.
From Victim to Victory
Through the darkness I saw the light I just knew I had to fight
Often I was in desperate need for inspiration My childrens' faces my only motivation
Dear God… I pray, please keep me strong… on this lonely road that seems so long
It took a long time to hear the birds sing Only a distant memory the joy they used to bring
Every day better than the one before Finally I'm on the road to healing once more
Slowly I rose like a phoenix from the ashes of my past Confidently I shine my light knowing it will last
Arriving with waery eyes, full of pain Doubting if there is anything to gain
Here for broken spirits to heal Everyone with different problems to deal
Day by day seeing masks disappear… Exchanged with hope that lives will be back in gear
Being part of a family Bound by shared struggles for eternity
A kind of love stronger than fate Forgotten all the troubles and hate
We share laughter and tears Make memories that will last for years
Do not despair
When the road you are trudging on seems uphill
When income is low and debts are high
When all hope is lost and thoughts become suicidal
As there is a flicker of hope in the hour of darkness
Okonguarri is the place of hope for the hopeless
Where you become one with the wilderness
Where you find yourself
But it has once again become time
To leave your protective shield
To go out in the jungle
And to deal with my demons
But Don't Despair
As the loving and caring arms of Okonguarri
Will always be there for the hopeless, the helpless
And those who need solace
Deep in the bush Where all is peaceful and calm A place where your soul Can come to no further harm
A place where we can learn To once again find our feet And where we will learn To never look into the eyes of defeat
A place where our souls Have no stress or worries This magical place I call Okonguarri
My Silent Prayer
Looking in the mirror, what do I see? A stranger that used to be me
Scared that this is one of my dreams Life is not always what it seems
Hesitantly I feel a glitter of hope Desperately I'll take any piece of rope
Slowly I see her strength growing stronger Gladly this darkness will not last much longer…
Finally I will be free My silent prayer while I'm on my knees
When I first came to Okonguarri, I was broken.
I hated myself for not understanding the way I felt and for not knowing things I thought I ought to have known.
When I was on the bus on my way to Okonguarri, all I could think about was cancelling the whole trip but something inside of me wouldn't let me, and I thank God that I stayed on.
Surrounded by strangers in a stringe place, it smelled like a cocktail for disaster. For the first two days I felt like sheep surrounded by wolves that were just waiting to go on the attack.
I slowly started opening up to the situation that I had placed myself in. I began to engage myself in verbal contact with my fellow patients and as I did that, I felt a bit of the heavy feeling on my heart fade.
As time passed I grew to love the place and people that had at first terrified me.
Okonguarri as a whole has created a space within my being, it provoked a desire to live again. It has created a thirst within myself to for self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.
Okonguarri has given back to me a gift that life had robbed me of and it's my love for English and it has also shown me a way to express myself and my emotions; something that I have in the past found very difficult to do.
I know that this is just the beginning. I know that I have a war that awaits me, a war for my happiness. But Okonguarri has given me the weapons I need to fight this war.
One of my newly found friends once said "Okonguarri can take you to the water fountain but it is up to you whether you drink or deprive yourself of it.
I will leave Okonguarri as a woman with a mission and a great story to tell. I look forward to my next visit and I am confident that the woman that leaves these gates will not be the same woman that returns.
I will return a stronger woman.
Thank you Okonguarri for being patient with me, for teaching me things about myself that I have lost along the way.
Your beauty and tranquility has given me some of the most precious moments in me entire life.