Sierra Leone civil war survivor, award-winning author to speak at Mount Allison

20 Jan 2016

Mariatu Kamara headlines social justice week on campus

Mariatu_KamaraSACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University will welcome Mariatu Kamara, a UNICEF Special Representative and survivor of the civil war in Sierra Leone to campus for a public lecture. Kamara’s talk, entitled The Bite of the Mango: A Discovery of Hope, will take place on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Wu Auditorium (Sir James Dunn Building, 67 York Street, Sackville). Everyone is welcome to attend.

Third-year political science and sociology student and MASU social justice co-ordinator Joanna Perkin is organizing Kamara’s talk.

“We are so excited to welcome Mariatu Kamara to campus to mark Mount Allison’s social justice week,” says Perkin. “Her story is a remarkable one and I hope many of our students and community members will come out to hear her account first hand.”

Kamara lived through the civil war in Sierra Leone, separated by her family and having her hands removed by rebels. Her story is captured in the award-winning book The Bite of the Mango, which Kamara co-wrote with Susan McClelland.

Perkin says Kamara’s story has resonated with her at an early age. She first received The Bite of the Mango from her mother in Grade 9.

“Her story is one of the reasons I became involved in social justice,” says Perkin.

Kamara_bookMariatu Kamara now lives in Canada and is studying at George Brown College in Toronto. She travels back to Sierra Leone frequently and is currently working on a project there to support war amputee and assaulted women and children. Kamara was named a UNICEF Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict. She works to tell her life story and raise awareness about forgiveness, violence, bullying at schools and of the importance hope and faith and of finding the strength and reasons to move on. She has shared her story of her war-torn country with audiences across Canada, the United States, and in Europe.

Kamara’s Mount Allison talk is sponsored by the Mount Allison Student’s Union, the Centre for International Studies (CIS), the International Centre, the Chaplain’s Office, and the Campbell-Verduyn Fund.

Copies of Kamara’s book The Bite of the Mango will be available for purchase at the Jan. 27 event.


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