Hi there. I’m a photographer based in London and every year I try to undertake shooting a personal project. The last few years these personal projects have taken me around the world shooting little known groups and sub cultures that have an interesting or inspirational back story. Earlier this year that took me to Sierra Leone to spend two weeks with the ‘Flying Stars’.
The civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002) not only killed more than 50,000 people. It also led to thousands of innocent civilians having legs, arms or hands forcibly amputated by rebel soldiers. Or removed by landmines or bullets.
The Flying Star Amputees are a football team born out of the adversity of this war. All the players are victims of civil war amputations, and football has brought them a level of joy, confidence, and hope for a better future for disabled people in Sierra Leone.
With no support from the government, the teams have no funding for things like crutches, ferrules (the hard rubber feet on the bottom of the crutches) or transport to play matches with other disabled teams. Sierra Leone is the 6th poorest country in the world, and yet purchasing a set of crutches there costs 10-15 times more than in countries like the U.K. or U.S.
The aim of this GoFundMe is to provide all Flying Stars players across Sierra Leone new sets of crutches and spare ferrules, and hopefully some additional funding in order for them to organise transport between cities for them to play competitive matches between the various teams. We will purchase the crutches in the UK and be shipped to Sierra Leone.
Any donation will be very welcome, but anyone donating £150 or more will receive a signed limited edition print from the series, shipped anywhere in the world. You just need to send me your address details once the donation has been made.
More information about the teams and their aims can be found here https://saloneflyingstars.com/about-2/
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