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Like most amputee victims, Sheih Mansaray, a baker and farmer, doesn't seek revenge. "God will judge," he said.

Samson M. Bah

Like many people, Samson M. Bah  lost everything he owned.

The 4000 Surviving Sierra Leone Amputee War Victims

While filming in Sierra Leone for several months during 2006 -- our most recent trip to Sierra Leone -- four years after the official end of the war, we met many amputees: at the new JOJ Amputee Resettlement (which is on the outskirts of Freetown), in Freetown itself, and in Kabala. Many basic needs were lacking.

What we witnessed and were told (in many interviews) was that the amputee war victims have been cast aside and forgotten, and often are left to beg on the streets.

At the JOJ Resettlement, they were missing basic necessities: pain killers,  medical facilities, and basic sanitary conditions.

They have lost their jobs. Their normal lives have been disrupted. And consequentially they have problems with their families.

Besides the psychological trauma they suffer, they have no work, no money, and no one who assists  them. Their situations are among the most depressing that we encountered in Freetown.

Fina Dabo watched her daughter's hand get severed, before they cut hers.

Shot many times and left for dead, Bala Koroma points to some bullet wounds. His chest is riddled with marks from bullets. They even crippled his hand with bullets.

Rebels wanted to burn this man, Masiru Koroma. He escaped. But not before he was shot, and his hands were mangled when they tried to chop them off.

Once wounded, the victims often had to survive 10 days or more in the bush with little or no food and no medical treatment. Many didn't survive.

Jancu Sessei. When they cut off his hands, they told him it was because he had voted. Rebels said that they would send amputated hands to the president of Sierra Leone.
Alaghi Lamin is the head of the JOJ Amputee Resettlement. He has a family to support.

"They said, 'Cut off both hands, put them in a bag, bring the bag to the commanding officer, so you get more promotions.'"

Sahr M. Tarawallie was shot in the leg, which had to be amputated.

The Sierra Leone One Legged Amputee Football Club took a creative approach to their problems. They play football to make some money. Although it's still not easy for them.

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Six months before these photos and the xray, she fell from a tree. They lack enough money for the treatment.

Stone Crushers

She's eight months pregnant.

The baby girl shields her eyes from the stone fragments. Her mother is pregnant.

What's left of a shoe.
"Believe Your Bones"

A typical stone crusher's injury. They use a certain grass -- an African medicine -- as an antiseptic. Fly maggots can be very dangerous.

Entire valleys are busy all day long cutting stones in many sizes, to feed the building boom in Sierra Leone. The only tools they have to crush the stones are hammers. They live in the street, and they have entire families to feed by crushing stones. Sometimes the whole family helps to crush the stones.  "BUB" (Believe your Bones) is the motto of a stone crusher settlement in Freetown. "No drugs, no alcohol, just work," they say. There are more countries than Sierra Leone where people do this for a living.