A Black teenage girl wearing turquoise and yellow dress smiles while sitting on a hospital bed in the Central African Republic
Central African Republic

Her walk home from the market ended with an explosion

On her path to recovery after stepping on an explosive device, Alima, 16, participates in rehabilitation sessions with Humanity & Inclusion specialists.

After finishing up a trip to the market in Bambari one Sunday in May, Alima was ready to embark on the six-mile walk home. With each step, she was careful to avoid the dangers she had heard about: active explosive devices hiding silently in the rocks and dirt beneath her feet, left behind from intense conflict in the Central African Republic.

Knowing the risks, Alima’s brother had taught her a safe route to the market through the grass. Following his instructions, she arrived safely to the market. But on her way home, Alima forgot the way and veered off the path. She stepped on an explosive weapon.

The blast severely damaged both of Alima’s legs, making it difficult to get out of her bed or perform routine activities. Today, Alima is in the Bambari hospital, where she is visited daily by Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists.

“Since I spend most of my time lying down or sitting after the accident, the HI physical therapists come every day to do exercises on my legs and feet,” Alima explains. “They keep my muscles working, so that when my wounds heal I can recover more quickly and be independent again.” 

With the help of these regular rehabilitation visits and proper medical treatment, Alima will soon leave the hospital and return to living her life at home. Humanity & inclusion teams will continue to work with Alima through the healing process and beyond.

Image: Alima sits on her bed at the Bambari hospital. Copyright: A. Servant/HI, 2021