When you lose a leg in war – Samuel Onyango’s story

So many wars occur in the world and long after they end, some effects stay with us a life time. Samuel Onyango lost his right leg in 1989 as a Kadogo in one of Uganda’s wars but rose above the challenge and today lives a happy life with his family.

Samuel: My mother told me I was born when Idi Amin had just come into power. I grew up in Lira and as a teenager, my uncle took me with him to Kamwenge training camp of the NRA army training and I became a Kadogo fighting against the LRA.

How did you lose your leg?

Samuel: While fighting the LRA in Gulu in 1989, I was shot 7 times and a bomb was thrown at us and it blew off my leg. I was flown to Mbuya hospital with several complications, like intestine problems after a bullet tore through them. I was then amputated below the knee on my right leg.

From Mbuya I went to Kadogo School in Mbarara where I joined primary 7 and went on to S.6 from where I went to Mubende Casualty Unit.

Life at school

Samuel: Many students in the schools had complications from the war so we were taken care of but elder Kadogos bullied us. By S.6, the bullying had increased and I dropped out of school and went to the barracks in the Mubende.

I worked with the army and studied in Mbale Clinical school and became a health educator which I continued todate.

Life today

Samuel: I have a family in Kira where I own a house and I still serve in the army.

One of the challenges we face is people who try to think for us, they don’t give us chance to think for ourselves. People make offers without first asking what we need.

Amputee soccer

Samuel: I am the publicity secretary of the Uganda Amputee Soccer Federation. Sports keeps us physically fit and we are able to make friends.

Message about PWDs

Samuel: Everyone is a potential disabled person so treat us well.

 

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