"My father was shot by the rebels but the bullet that killed him first passed through my leg." Mary Kamara, 25, da Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Mary was born during the 11 year civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone from 1991 - 2002. In its penultimate year she
was a 3 year old, living with her parents and 4 older siblings on a farm in the Kono District of the country.
Rebel forces attacked their village, shooting civilians and burning homes. Her parents quickly gathered their
children and ran for cover. Her father was shot as they dashed for cover but the bullet that killed him first
passed through Mary's leg as he had her in his arms. Her mother shouted to the older siblings to keep
running but turned back to save Mary. She was able to get Mary to safety and a hospital but Mary's little
mangled leg had to be amputated.
Mary is a sweet natured, cheerful person who belies the difficulties she had in her younger years. In order
to pay her school fees, she was obliged to beg in the streets. One day as she was begging, a certain Mr
Wizzy from SLASA noticed Mary and invited her to join their activities. She was speechless at his kind offer
and then thrilled to be a part of a group of people who found happiness playing football together. In 2018
she represented SLASA at the FIFA Foundation Festival in Russia where their team won! It was a glorious
moment for her.
At present Mary is training to be a prosthetic technician and works in the SLASA workshop because she
wants to help other amputees to be able to walk. But she has a dream in her heart, which is to study to
become a lawyer.
In the meantime, she practises patience and says, 'With patience and trust in God life will work out for you
and you will be happy.