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
Join Host Tina Klonaris-Robinson and journey Into the heart as we celebrate the gift and beauty of the human spirit through the sharing of life stories. The stories expressed will inspire us to connect and evolve, reminding us of how powerful we are as human beings, especially in times of crisis or grief.
A single story can take an entire community to the ground or elevate it. We need to be told and to tell new stories that inspire the best qualities that we possess, and we need to be exposed to the stories of people from different backgrounds than our own so we can gain an appreciation and respect for our differences, as well as for our similarities. Stories connect us, people to people. They cross lands, oceans, and borders. They move us, shape us and create new worlds of possibility. Stories take us on a journey through the intimate life experience of another, and in the hearing we become a part of their lives. We are no longer strangers.
Tina Klonaris-Robinson is an inspirational writer and speaker, The Founder and Executive Director of The Meah Foundation and the creator of The Meah Story Bracelet Project. After the tragic loss of her second child, Meah, in 2006, Tina traveled to Rwanda with genocide survivor Immaculée Ilibagiza and experienced the incredible power of sharing stories in the healing process. These stories had a profound impact on her character and her purpose, opening her heart and mind to new possibilities. Person to person connection through storytelling was the basis of discoveries about hope, faith, forgiveness, courage, and the seeds of greatness that live within every human being no matter what has happened to them or how difficult their lives have been. She believes in the power of storytelling to transform people’s lives, heal, promote understanding and connection between people, overcome differences, and prevent discrimination and violence. She believes that even through the very worst of life experiences, we can rise up, empowering ourselves and others with who we are and all that we can be. www.themeahfoundation.org
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