• Im working by myself.
  • Im doing a feature.
  • Im interviewing my hero, who has saved many lifes.

The ordinary white man became the most beautiful white hero
Kajsa Carlson 9D
02.16.2010 vecka 22


The majority of Swedens population, live their lives like most people would dream of. Even though we sometimes complain about the small things like that we are sitting on the worst seats in the cinema or that we couldn’t have the table with the sofas at the restaurant. But I think that it is time to stop complaining over those small problems. We should take a trip outside our safe community and explore how the rest of the world is living. And then when we come back we can decide if bad seating in the cinema really is such a big problem or if we can just be happy with having the opportunity and the money to go the cinema.

In Garissa the poorest hellhole of Kenya, the vultures are circling over the big garbage bunches lying around on the streets. But inside the bricklayers to Carl-Axel Ekmans children home you can here the laughs of the now happy girls.
Girls that the Swedish hero has helped from being left to die.

My biggest hero in the world is Carl-Axel Ekman who actually took a trip outside the box and explored something which has changed his whole life and now he can die with a smile on his face, he says.

Everything started in 1989 when he went from being a successful surgeon to becoming a pensioner. Carl-Axel was still a healthy man and was not ready to stop working and just sit at home doing nothing. So he decided to go to Garissa a small town in Kenya, the poorest of the poorest. The pilot dropped him off, took farewell and screamed ‘’see you in six weeks’’! There Carl-Axel stood in a poor village in Kenya, he had no directions where to go and he was so chocked with how poor they lived that he forgot all about what he came for. Everybody stared when he came, ‘’why would a white man come here’’ they said.

In Garissa he came to a ‘‘hospital’’ that was more like a place that people called a prison or hell. People who had done something bad got sent to that hospital because if you walked in it was impossible to walk out with all the diseases spreading. Carl-Axel got sent to this hospital to help and he did. The operation room they had, was impossible to operate in without filling a cut with infections. It was holes everywhere, crushed windows, old materials tat you could not work with. So he started with his own hands fixing the room and then he operated 7 people in 6 weeks and helped them to walk out from the hospital alive.

Carl-Axel was shocked with what he had seen it was not fair that they would have to live that way he says. When he got back to Sweden he told his wife Monica Ekman that he couldn’t believe what he had seen and everything was so poor so you couldn’t fix it, so his strong and beautiful wife told him then will go back together.

And there is were the whole story starts says Carl-Axel to me: We have now gone to Garissa every 3 month in 3 month ships for 20 years.

For the 2nd time when Monica and me went together to Garissa we brought money with us, and equipments that hospitals had donated and we started building up a hospital and a doctors education. With the years this hospital grew to be the most appreciated hospital in the country, people from everywhere came to attend the education. Garissas hospital is now heaven instead of hell.

But Carl- Axel and Monica wasn’t happy with just building up Kenya’s best hospital they wanted to do more for the poor city in Garissa. Each and every day as I worked at the hospital, women who had been raped and used as a hitting pole walked in he says. The women in Garissa had no power or rights even though they did everything in the homes etc. Carl- Axel and Monica where in shock of how they treated there women. Therefore they wanted to give them rights as well.

In Garissa you have to get circumcised, which has caused a lot of troubles for the women. They say that the women’s vagina is the most unclean place on the human body. This has caused a lot of problems because getting circumcised is not a nice time it hurts so bad there are no limits and afterwards when you think that it is over, you have problems with peeing, menstruation and it hurts by just walking Carl-Axel says.

He also told me a story about a 12-year-old girl who came into the hospital with a stomach so big that he thought she was pregnant in the last month. They had to cut her open to see what had happened and out of the stomach tons of black old blood came flooding. She would have died in any second if she hadn't reached us in time.

Carl-Axel and Monica have now worked on helping this poor town for 20 years. Together they have saved 600 girls lives, with their help they are today alive. They have build up a girl’s school, a children home and one of Africa’s best and most famous hospitals.

2007 his wife past away in cancer. Carl-Axel says his other half was now gone and did not know how to survive without her. But with support and help from family, friends, his 600 children I Garissa and his football team in Borås, he could still keep his courage up and he did it for Monica. As a memory of Monica Ekman all the citizens in Garissa made a beautiful big flower garden as a thank you for making their lives worth living.

Monica and Carl-Axel has together cut down on 83% of the circumcise, which is a miracle what they have succeded to accomplish together.

2007 Carl-Axel Ekman became the Swedish hero. It was the best moment in his life, it was a sign for him that in this moment he could die with a smile on his face and feel that he has done something good life. He is the biggest hero in Garissa and the people don’t see him as the white man anymore now he is the hero who has saved their lives.

Carl-Axel Ekman is my biggest hero and inspiration. When I interviewed him I could not stop crying. He is so strong, so cool and such amazing person who understands that helping others is the biggest price we have in life. A couple of years ago my best friend past away and her grandfather is Carl-Axel Ekman. I see my best friend in him and I see the kind person she would have been as a grown up women.

Carl-Axel Elman had the courage to take a step outside the box and he did it well. Today he is 88 years old and is still working and improving the work in Garissa. Next summer I am coming with Axel to work at the school as an English teacher for the summer. Carl-Axel Ekman is my hero and will always be.

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Foto: Carl-Axel Ekman on the award show, where he is reciving his price for being the Swedish hero, 2007.
By: Kajsa Carlson 9D