Aid for war victims in Sierra Leone
Before I set out from Upper Guinea on an expedition that was to take me, over the course of several days, to the source of the Niger River, people had warned me about the atrocities of the rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone. I reached the river’s source unharmed, realizing a dream I’d had since childhood: a journey along the entire length of the Niger.
For those seven months, I surrendered myself to the magic of the third largest river in Africa, always in close contact with the locals. I owe a lot to them, which is why I’ve decided to work together with an aid organization to help them. I would like to be able to give back something of the openness and the helpfulness I experienced there.
After my return, I learned of an aid organization called Medico International who I found to be a fitting partner for a cooperative aid effort. In Sierra Leone, near the source of the Niger, Medico is supporting an initiative for people left disabled by the civil war. Many of them had lost their hands or legs during the war as a result of acts of violence perpetrated by the rebels. Approximately 20,000 people there have survived such amputations.
Alhaji Juso Jaka is one of the amputees in Sierra Leone. The rebels cut off both of his hands as he tried to prevent them from abducting his daughter. He will depend on the aid of others for the rest of his life. In order to regain a feeling of agency and self-determination, Alhaji founded Juso Jaka, the War Wounded and Amputees Association that serves with Medico as a partner organization. Together they advocate the rights of war victims as well as a reasonable degree of restitution.
Join me in supporting the aid effort of Medico International.
Photo: medico international