One Step Beyond. Link to splash page

Bernardo Kalenga

Portrait Bernardo Kalenga

Less than two weeks ago, on Saturday, October 10, I stepped on the landmine. It happened while I was going to cut poles for my house, which was destroyed. We had to move into a hut that was too small for my family. I was carrying home the poles I had already cut and collected. At three o'clock, I went back to get the last bunch of poles. Before taking them, I left the small path to urinate somewhere close by in the bushes. When I had finished, I returned to the path to get the poles on my shoulders.

Just near to where I had gathered the wood, there was a landmine. Unfortunately, I stepped on it. I didn't know that there were landmines in this area. Everything happened in such a rush. I was thrown into the air and fell on my back. When I stepped on the mine, all the people who were nearby ran away from me. I was lying on the ground and my leg was bleeding heavily. I had to crawl to the army camp close to the road.

The soldiers sent some little children to my village to tell my family. But nobody returned from the village. The soldiers noticed that the kids were delayed. So they took a bicycle from someone passing by, connected it to a second one, and put me on a stretcher between them. They carried me home in this way. On the way, we met my wife, who was coming with my neighbor. The soldiers went back to their camp, and my wife and the neighbor carried me to the hospital. Before arriving at the hospital, we ran into people from the social team of the VVAF, who were coming from the center. They put me into their car and rushed me to the hospital.

My life is in complete disorder. My leg hurts. All the time, I worry about how my life will continue. I think about my children. How will I be able to look after them?

I stepped on the landmine. And I've lost my leg. I don't know what I can do or what I have to do. I have a lot of thoughts.

Some people support me. My wife and my children. And with the help of Josepha, my thoughts and worries are reduced bit by bit. But even so, when you've lost your leg, your imagination and thoughts go on.


Mine PPM-2