Amputee Soccer League in Sierra Leone healing the nation


“When we play together, we feel like heroes. I don’t think I’m disabled. I am able…but in a different way.”
– Musa, Player, Sierra Leone Amputee Soccer League

Through One World Futbol Project’s partnership with the Sierra Leone Amputee Soccer League, Chevrolet-branded balls are being used by programmes serving youth in a country that is rebuilding after 11 years of civil war, where the life expectancy is 56 years, and almost 8 percent of children die before they reach their first birthday. There is a whole generation of young men and women missing arms and legs, a result of being attacked by rebel “soldiers” in the heat of Sierra Leone’s most recent war, which ended in 2002. Some of the amputee victims were children as young as two years old when they had their limbs cut off. Mambud Samai, a refugee who was repatriated to an IDP camp in Sierra Leone, found himself in the company of 230 amputees and saw how desperately they needed trauma recovery therapy. Mambud founded the Sierra Leone Amputee Soccer League, knowing that young men without legs or arms could heal through the camaraderie of soccer.

” Players know they are not alone in their amputations. They come together to play football.”
– Mambud Samai, founder, Sierra Leone Amputee Soccer League

Every weekend, one-legged men head to Freetown to the beach and play soccer. Once shunned because their missing limbs were a painful reminder of the war, they are now seen as heroes. Many were named “Peace Ambassadors,” travelling and speaking out against war and violence.

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