Abdul Sahid Kargbo
- My Educational Goal:
My goal is to be the most educated Sierra Leonean with degrees. I am hoping after getting my first degree to further my studies out of the country. I want to write novels and come back to my country to teach and spread the knowledge and develop my country in the future, all through the grace of God.
- My Career Goal:
Since I was a little boy I have had the vision to become a lawyer, working in the interest of the poor and innocent and to live by the book and bring offenders to justice. But now as I grow older and look back at the past experience in the rebel war in my country, I conclude that being a peace practitioner will help prevent the outbreak of war in my country and will be a step in fulfilling my dreams, all by the grace of God. I chose my career for two main reasons; firstly to achieve my dreams and secondly to put an end to the global terror and destruction and make planet earth a better place to live in.
- Personal Experience of War:
My personal experience in the 10-year civil war to me was terrible as I was a witness to killing, raping, massive destruction, etc. I will mention my worse experience, though it is bitter to recall.
It was sometime around January 13, 1999 in Freetown at around 2am. The night was so peaceful and quiet. Everything was normal. Sleep was what was lulling the house when there was a heavy slamming of the door, flashlights everywhere. More than 15 gunmen entered the house. All I could hear was screaming and crying. The commander asked all the boys to go left and girls to go right that they needed mistresses and young converts. There were 6 men and 4 girls including my aunty. In front of us and under gunpoint my aunty was raped as well as her young daughter. After that my aunty was left bleeding. They asked who was going to join them. The boy closest to me objected and he was shot with 8 bullets. I watched him struggle to death. The oldest of us was asked to make way with (rape) my aunty. Through he knew he would be killed he refused and he was made to kneel and his left hand was chopped off. They took two of us away but the saddest part is that in the end only one was taken and the rest were shot inside the house with my aunty including the amputated young man. They set the house on fire and stood waiting for it to burn down. There was a young lady who tried to escape and was shot on sight.
Since then I can still hear my auntie's voice screaming my name for help. I was standing but I couldn't help. I could only stand listening to her voice until the voice faded away. And again I always say thanks to God. He made it possible for me to be explaining my experience, as I would have been killed in that house with the others. Praise be to God!
- My Experience in Peace:
ASince the official declaration "war don don" by President Kabbah in January 2002 we started breathing the air of peace in the city. Some factors, which were employed in the Peace Process and worked very slowly in some post war countries, worked very fast in Sierra Leone, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It aided the common understanding among people allowing those, who wronged you, to come around you and let him/her admit to all the mayhem he/she committed. Again it was only in Sierra Leone where 5 to 6 years after the war ended we experienced a peaceful regime change in 2007 after a free and fair election. And to crown it all off it is only in Sierra Leone after 7 few years after the war we have a high level of children going to school and people working together to facilitate development and peaceful co-existence in the country.
- Community Service Project:
Included 10 hours of teaching at the Richard Allen High School. He discussed basic human rights and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
After introducing the topic "I noticed that the class was not encouraging because those girls who had gone through the process felt betrayed that their hidden secret had been let out and others felt humiliated for discussing their privacy. Only a few were happy so there were less responses to my questions. I decided to stop talking and allow for a vote of opinion...out of a hundred plus pupils only fourteen, 11 boys and 3 girls, were in opposition to the practice.
That started a whole lot of talking and explaining, telling them that over 300 people died every year from the practice.... but at the end of the hour, I had successfully won over half of the class to believe it is against Human Rights laws to treat anybody inhumanely."