At first you wouldn't even notice that Ijok has one plastic leg. She stands straight, smiles often, and even runs on the playground at St Bakhita Primary School in S.Sudan. She will tell you straight out, "Even if I am disabled, I can do anything!" And I believe her.
As an infant, Ijok was caught in a rebel ambush. "My mother was shot in the stomach," she says, "and I lost two fingers and one leg to the bullets." (That is how she got the name, Ijok, meaning "Bad Luck.")
Ijok adds, "Then my mother, I suppose, could not imagine how to raise a child who had only one good hand and one leg. She ran away and disappeared, leaving me in the hospital. I was rescued and raised by my grandmother."
Happily, Ijok's grandmother found a way to bring her to St Bakhita's. Now she's thriving. She loves reading, playing with friends, and learning new things, especially in the MBB computer lab. She has a future now!
Sand Storms in Sudan
6 years ago