The Story Behind The Cause
I was a victim of the Liberian war which started in 1989. The war lasted sporadically for 8 years. During that period, my mom (a single mother) and I narrowly escaped to Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Ghana. As a child, I witnessed the deaths of many people including a pregnant woman whose protruding belly got impaled at the edge of the ship while jumping in to escape. I returned to Liberia in 1997, to a country devastated by war, poverty, and crime. I had to sell marijuana – which was illegal, to survive. I was exposed to a series of abuse including attempted rape.
In 2003, another war started which propelled me to the refugee camp in Nigeria. I was separated from my mom during that journey and re-united with her after several days. The horror and trauma of war haunted me for many years.
However, my resilience from these gruesome and harrowing experiences not only helped shape my vision and perception as an adult but has contributed to animating my dreams and strengthening my commitment to helping children experience a better life and building a stronger future.
Helen J Salako