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In this interview, Mariatu Kamara recounts the events that led up to her brutal attack where young rebel soldiers in Sierra Leone captured her at the tender age of 12 and cut off her hands. She will share how she was able to survive both physically and mentally, making peace with her past, forgiving those who hurt her and creating a beautiful life of purpose and meaning. Her message for a world facing turbulent times is Don’t give up on life no matter what! Find gratitude in everything.
When 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village in Sierra Leone, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured her. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands.
Mariatu miraculously survived but with no parents to support her, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown. Eventually, Mariatu was able to begin a new life in Canada where she co-authored her memoir, ‘The Bite of The Mango’, which to date has won several awards. Currently she is a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, giving presentations on the impact of war on children
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