Isatu Tutu Kamara
- My Educational Goal:
I would like to have my bachelor's degree in Social Sciences and Law and I also hope to achieve a Masters in Human Rights.
- My Career Goal:
I would like to become a human rights activist and human rights lawyer. I also intend to be a peace facilitator for my country, especially African countries where we experience high levels of violence, corruption, exploitation and political oppression. I want to work for human rights to support and improve the goal of human rights and democracy.
- Personal Experience of War:
The experiences that I had during the ten years of civil war in Sierra Leone were so great that I cannot narrate everything in this sad story of mine. During that time many lives and properties were destroyed, houses and governmental buildings were burnt down; a lot of human rights violations committed and a state of chaos and anarchy existed.
However though the ten years of brutal civil war may have ended the painful scars remain indelible in the maimed and marred bodies and minds of many citizens, including a friend of mine by the name of Miss Zainab Kamara. A stray bullet pierced her chest and spinal cord and turned the beautiful young lady into a paraplegic. However, she has remained stoic and brave despite her challenges.
On January 6th, 1999 I woke up very early and found our whole house in darkness. I went to many Aunt's room and asked for matches to light up the house. She told me that there is no school today as the rebels had entered Freetown at about 3am. I was astonished and started praying. Since that day I was unable to sleep. On the 9th I got up with a heavy heart that something terrible was going to happen. After some time, my friend Zainab and I were standing in front of our house when we saw a group of rebels coming towards us. As we were about to run away I heard a gunshot and my friend who was behind me shouting "I am finished". I returned back to pick her up when I noticed that she had been shot. A stray bullet had pierced her chest, which led to her becoming a paraplegic due to lack of treatment.
Also during the war there was a high rate of destruction of both lives and properties. So many people were killed, mistreated and tortured. Some people had their arms and limbs amputated. Women, old and young, were raped. Houses were looted and their properties, even churches and mosques, were burnt down.
During that period, the rebels captured so many children, even old people, taking them along as prisoners of war, even giving young children under the age of 11 years guns to teach them the art of war and the use of weapons to fight. They also forced young girls into sexual intercourse and making them as their wives, etc. The long and short of it all, the experience I have during the brutal war was never to be forgotten in the minds of sober minded citizens of this country. As for me I can still feel the pain of it whenever I see my friend and the past memories will still be remembered.
- My Experience in Peace:
After the war had ended and disarmament was called for, the government allowed these rebels to come home and improve their skills of learning. The government and other NGO's and foreign donors supported their education to teach them the dangers of war. (Unclear) After they have realized their faults and later they accept peace to prevail in our country.
In peace people can move without fear of being killed. With peace there is now love and harmony between the people.
Also even investors can now come to invest in the country without any fear. Development is in progress and even the educational system is now growing deeper in the minds of people as so many people want to be educated to better his or her standard of living. During peace there is less crime and also human rights are observed and respected. Mutual understanding of the people is also growing. In peace we can experience law and order and try to develop the country at large. The definition of peace is the absence of war and violence and the presence of social justice.
From my own point of view I have a lot of experience in peace like caring love, politeness, feeling of belongingness and sharing environment. However, for a country to achieve a positive peace, injustices must be still addressed.