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August 3, 2010

From "Survivor Corps"

Survivor X was living with his wife and two daughters and supporting them by working as an administrator when civil war erupted in Ethiopia. Everyone was asked by the government to fight even those without military training. Survivor X went to fight and while he was on patrol, he was beaten badly and shot thirteen times by revolutionaries. As a result he lost his arm all the way to the shoulder and nearly bled to death. The survivor recalls that the nurses didn't dress his wound as they thought that he wouldn't survive, they just were watching him die, but he survived. When he returned home, his wife told him that because he was an amputee, she couldn't live with him anymore and left him taking their youngest daughter with her. He was soon living on the streets because his savings were confiscated when a new government took over in Ethiopia.

Despite what he has gone through from hunger, disrespect, constant abuse and fatigue, he didn't give up. He was told about survivor corps by another war survivor he met. The survivor joined a support group for survivors and got connected with one of the partners of Survivor Corp to receive financing and training to operate a small business selling dry goods from a kiosk. The survivor with this business was able to rebuild his life; he says "I became strong emotionally and psychologically. My income also increased. I started to live independently. I respect myself, and now, others respect me as well." The survivor now peaks with people without disabilities telling them not to judge people with disabilities without knowing them, they are just like people without disabilities.