World Harvest was honored to host a special soccer team from Sierra Leone consisting of victims from the Blood Diamond epidemic during the civil war. If you’ve seen the movie, “Blood Diamonds,” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, these amputees are the real life examples of the victims you see in the incredible film.

In the last civil war over “blood diamonds” in 2002, a fragile new government created the campaign slogan, “The future is in your hands,” to which the rebels’ response was the mass hacking of people’s hands and legs. Hundreds of thousands died because of the rebels’ disgusting deeds, but about 150,000 people survived, and made Sierra Leone the highest amputee capita in the world.

Instead of becoming bitter or giving up, these amputees trained themselves to be exceptionally good soccer players, travelling around their country to inspire other war victims to take charge of their lives and to refuse to be bitter, forgive, and preach the message of peace and tolerance. They are truly inspirational. These victims truly became victors through their courage and determination.

Facts About Sierra Leone:

  • Sierra Leone has the highest amputee/capita in the world
  • Sierra Leone is the third poorest country in the world
  • Sierra Leone has the highest rate of infant mortality in the world, with 113.7 deaths for every 1,000 live births
  • Sierra Leone’s life expectancy is the second lowest in the world of just 38 years old

The amputee soccer players were here in Los Angeles from May 26 to June 2, 2014. While in LA, they got the chance to visit the ACS Lions in Arcadia, they got the chance to have an inspirational meeting event with Street Soccer LA and Jovenes to motivate and inspire the youth, they met with Major League Soccer professional team, Chivas USA, and provided a motivational speech for the team. In addition, they were also at the Chivas USA vs Philadelphia Union game on May 31st.