posted on November 23, 2011 15:43
The people of Sierra Leone suffered the consequences of a brutal civil war. Amputation was used as a Weapon of war. The amputation of civilians portrays the long years of fighting. During the war, terror tactics was physical mutilation. Although there are as yet no reliable statistics, an estimated 20,000 civilians suffered amputation of became wounded by machetes and axes being used to sever arms, legs, lips, and ears. Victims of amputation have not only been the direct victims of several years of conflict, but have suffered from social stigmatization and marginalized from the mainstream of technology and the information society.
The ITU Telecom World 2011 has recognized the ‘Digital Hope’ initiative of the B-Gifted Foundation www.bgiftedfoundation.org as one of the best ideas at the ITU Telecom World. We are in the early phases of piloting our project ‘Digital Hopes’ which uses technology to help the war victims in Sierra Leone recover from their emotions by communicating around the world via technology. War is Only Half the Story, and the rest needs to be told during the aftermath of conflict. The Project 'Digital hope will not only allow amputee victims of war to tell their stories to a world audience via technologies and bring attention visibility and support to their plight but there is much more to be told and technology gives the space to air that half of the stories. We will be setting up community access centres one amputee camp at a time. This will be the principal information window for our community’s war affected and marginalized people. There are several amputee camps to be targeted. These include the Oslo Amputee Camp in Makeni Northern Sierra Leone where the project will be piloted, The Grafton Amputee Camp, The Aberdeen Amputee Camp, the Four-Mile Amputee Camp, and The Waterloo Amputee Camp.
In the process and the charge of telling their war time stories, life skills in technology will be built which encouraged the war victims to become productive citizens. The Digital Hope demonstrates the use of technology in the aftermath of war, the deformity inflicted as a result of gross human rights violation during times of war and conflicts. Amputees will use their extra limbs to access computers. These technologies can give them a powerful voice in the mass media, and become an extra ordinary tool, that they can use to bear witness to their plight, thereby bringing about attention, hope and healing to people who are almost forgotten victims. Technology creates a human rights dimension in a way that has never been practiced before. Technology helps in Human rights promotion, peace-building and healing programs, education and research. This has been a big year for us – we are in the process of giving out more hope to over 1500 amputee victims of war via multi-media technology such as mobile phones, computers, digital and video cameras, internet, and reach-out in 5 years time. Amputees are poised to working on projects about the aftermath of war in their lives.
We continue to do our work on an absolute shoestring, and we need your help to get this project out in to the targeted amputee camps in Sierra Leone. We will send free news letters on the progress of the project and link the supporter’s website and their logos on our sites. It's one of the most important outcomes of what we do, funding work isn't enough. It has to be seen.
Also for more information, visit the following website: www.bgiftedfoundation.org
The article was provided by Andrew Benson Greene