Sierra Leone’s harrowing civil war left a country littered with victims. Victims whose limbs were amputated, victims of brutal sexual assault, victims who are still struggling to put their lives back together ten years on. And there are the other victims, the children who were recruited into the armed militia, who were given drugs and weapons and military training.
Le Monde diplomatique has a thoughtful account of the strains of reintegrating these different populations into regular lives, including a perspective from a former child soldier who may be more typical in his awkward adjustment to reintegration than Ishmael Beah, the remarkable young author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, who was able to start a new life in the United States. The article offers an important window into the severity of the war, and the slow road to recovery that the country faces in attempting to fill unique and urgent needs like obtaining adequate supplies of prosthetic limbs.
Brilliant Earth has been active in Sierra Leone through partnerships with organizations like MedShare International, which ships medical supplies to developing nations, and One Sky of Canada, which develops and launches pilot projects focusing on sustainability around the world. If you’re interested in joining us, read about what we’ve been able to accomplish together with our partners on our main site.