19 July, 2007

Kimmie Weeks

Born on December 6, 1981 in the West African Nation of Liberia, Kimmie Weeks spent most of his early childhood faced with war, poverty, and suffering. A civil war had started in Liberia in 1989 when Kimmie was barely 9 years old. The war brought him face to face with death and the suffering of children. He recalls observing the plight of other children who seemed to suffer more then he did. He recounts, "all through the war, I saw children suffer worse then I. I watched children die, cut down by bullets or disease that in other parts of the world would be considered no longer a threat. I saw children in my country spend long days on the streets of the capital under the blazing African sun trying to sell goods for their families to survive, while thousands of others carried guns, fighting and killing one another. I saw the growing number of young children barely in their teens who were becoming prostitutes. School for these any many others was a fantasy."

In 1991, someone started digging a shallow grave for Kimmie Weeks he was all of 10 years old. He had been sick for days -- dehydrated, not eating or drinking because of the cholera that wracked his emaciated body. The cholera hit after the chickenpox and before the yellow jaundice. He saw no doctor, no nurse. He had no medicine, only a few herbs. This was war, after all. When they could no longer find a pulse in Kimmie's chest, an older man decided he must be dead. He told someone to wrap Kimmie up, and some young men went out to dig a grave -- out by the garbage pile, where all the refugees' bodies went. His mother could not bear it. She refused to accept it. She screamed. She hit at his body and kept hitting at him until he came back to consciousness. That same night, Kimmie vowed to dedicate the rest of his childhood and adult life to making the world a better place for children. Read on

More on Kimmie: Kimmieweeks.com, myhero.com, Wikipedia


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