40 STORIES OF HEALING: Bintu
Bintu was only 9 when rebels overran her village during the Sierra Leone civil War. There was no warning and no chance to flee. During the raid, Bintu was abducted by a rebel leader.
Bintu was only 9 when rebels overran her village during the Sierra Leone Civil War. There was no warning and no chance to flee. Bintu was abducted and suffered injuries to her body and her soul.
Then one amazing day, during a routine attack on a village, Bintu’s sister saw her among the rebels and called out to her. Together they escaped into the jungle and walked for weeks, begging food from the villages they passed by. They heard their mother had survived, and so the girls made the long journey that finally lead to their mother’s arms.
Bintu’s mother took her to a clinic in the capital Freetown, but her injuries were too severe for them to attempt surgery. But they had good news – the Mercy Ship was coming and surgeons on-board had the instruments and expertise to perform an obstetric fistula repair for her.
Three years after her capture, at 12 years old, tiny Bintu was lovingly received into the hospital ship community. During her stay she relearned to be a little girl, she danced and giggled and healed – mind, body and spirit – and love and acceptance was poured out upon her by medical staff and crew alike.
Bintu cried the day she left the Anastasis in 2002. She was a different girl to the one who had arrived a month earlier. She was on the way to becoming whole.
Mame Sy had no medical aspirations before coming on board the Africa Mercy in 2019, but the love that she experienced on board compelled her to return again and again.
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