Jeremy Jacob Kangah
- My Educational Goal:
Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies.
- My Career Goal:
My dream is to become a professor in the field of peace studies and a human rights activist. I would like to be in the position to preach peace and at the same time advocate for the rights of people.
- Personal Experience of War:
What I experienced during the war it is very bitter to explain. Nonetheless, the more I explain it the less I feel the effect.
In 1991, when the war started my mother was killed in Daru Chiefdom. I was 8 years old and my elder sister was 12 years old. My father had died a long time before the war. In 1992 my sister decided that we should go to the capital city, Freetown because, by then there wasn't any relative to take care of us. So in December 1993 we went to Freetown. After a few months I started attending school. This was during the NPRC regime.
In 1995 I witnessed a terrible scene that I can never forget. The Strasser regime (NPRC) was overthrown which brought anarchy in Freetown. The landlord of the place where we were living was burnt and killed. A few months later my sister got pregnant by a taxi driver. He was taking care of us but the man got caught in a thief group and had to run away from the city. After that we didn't have anyone to take care of us and my sister couldn't work due to her pregnancy. For survival I made myself work. I would carry loads for people and do other work for which I was paid.
In January 1999 my sister was again pregnant when the RUF rebels invaded Freetown. They were killing people indiscriminately. One Sunday morning my sister was preparing food at the back of the compound when a group of bloody rebels entered the compound and immediately saw my sister in the kitchen. She was shocked and I came out to know what was going on. The head of the group asked me who the pregnant woman was and I said that she was my sister. The head of the group ordered me to strip off my clothes, which I did and then he turned to my pregnant sister and asked her to do the same. She was about to refuse with hope that they would feel pity for her due to her pregnancy. Instead he gave her a heavy slap because of failing to honor his order. In the end she stripped off her clothes. Then the head of group told me to have sex with my sister. I automatically refused and they beat me until I fell down unconscious. A few hours later the group started arguing amongst themselves about the sex of the unborn child. They bet with heavy money and decided to split the belly of my sister to confirm their bet. A few minutes later they stretched her down flat on the floor and split her belly and the rest of the group jumped with joy.
When I regained my sensation, I realized that my sister had been horribly killed. I took her and the dead baby to the back of the compound and laid them inside the bathroom. By then all the neighbors had fled from the compound. I was the only person around with fighters all around me.
- My Experience in Peace:
For my own part peace is the only invisible thing from which I received an ultimate joy, after all I have gone through. It is through peace that I realize that my loss was something inevitable. In every circumstance peace is good and with absolute peace in me I am improving rapidly. It is an additional inspiration for me to become a conflict mediator and a human rights activist.
In conclusion, I advise stakeholders, NGO's etc. to continue to maintain peace and stability from country to country and the world at large. The effect of war is not good for mankind. War itself is evil. It can stain human beings with a natural psychological effect and stigmatization.