e.g. Mammy Yabundu, Alhassan's mother - a very unusual 70+ [no-one really knows her age - least of all her!] has buried two husbands, both her sons, two of her daughters in their infancy and her 2 year old grandson some ten years ago. She is a tough cookie. She prays her 5 daily prayers. She scolds and grumbles at the school kids who 5 years ago invaded her life and is number one advocate for mercy when anyone of them gets themselves in trouble. The day before Alhassan's first anniversary she also lost her first grandson, aged 31. What did he die of? A pain in his chest! More than that is anyone's guess.
While we quietly get on with grieving for Alhassan's absence, around us there are endless stories of loss and suffering: young parents leaving their children, young men and women leaving their families without the breadwinner, young healthy women dying in childbirth and so on.
Until there is an educated population that can hold their doctors and nurses to account we will continue to see these events as daily normality. We continue the battle and so long as we are clear that when we educate we involve ourselves in a battle, maybe we will start to see some progress.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans please go to www.educaid.org.uk