SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
| A Young Boy and Girl
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“I am a boy of
15. We used to live in Chilsotoon, which used to be a battlefield.
Since I did not have a job, I always went to the mountains near
our house to collect scrap metal which I could sell for 5,000 Afs.
per 7 kilograms.
A testimony contributed by Save the Children (USA)
On 2 March, I and my friend, Edris, went to collect scrap metal
though my parents had often warned me of the dangers of this business.
I reassured them that I would not touch dangerous things.
On that day we saw two dead bodies at the foot of the mountain.
“Let’s take them out of that spot,” I suggested.
But my friend said that we might step on a mine if we go there,
so we didn’t. As we made our way back home, we stuck to
the trail because I did not have shoes. Edris was telling me stories.
He was an orphan and he was telling me how his father died. Suddenly,
I heard a great explosion. It was a mine and Edris had stepped
on it. We both fell to the ground and I was injured on my left
I started shouting for Edris and I heard him speaking faintly
and painfully. He said he had lost both legs. When I shouted for
him a second time, I did not hear anything in response. I understood
that Edris was dead. I started screaming and after a long time
I saw my brother coming up with some deminers who were working
near the area. They took me to the ICRC hospital.”
W. is 18 now but she was only an 11 year old girl when she stepped
on a landmine. Before the accident she would say that she was capable
of doing anything. Now she frequently feels angry, impatient and nervous.
She battles with depression. She was close to her brother and found
a great deal of comfort in their relationship. But her brother died
in a rocket attack.
There are three of them at home: W., her mother and her younger
sister. Her brothers have died and her father has gone missing,
so the household is entirely female. W. now works for Save the Children
as a facilitator. She now brings home a decent income which helps
the family’s situation.