Photographer Todd Antony traveled recently to Sierra Leone and photographed the Salone Flying Stars team on location. Impressed by the joy with which the boys played, he then started his GoFundMe campaign in order to provide all Flying Stars players throughout Sierra Leone with new sets of crutches and replacement ferrules (the hard rubber feet on the bottom of the crutches) – and hopefully, additional funding so that they can organize transportation between cities to enable matches between the different teams. The crutches are purchased in the UK and then shipped to Sierra Leone.
“As we were provoked, marginalized, insulted with all kinds of names, we formed this club to bring us together, as one family to share our feelings, especially to support our mental strength in our special living conditions and social recovery.” The Flying Star Amputees tell us.
Every donation is very welcome, but everyone who donates £150 or more receives a signed limited edition print from the series, which is then shipped to anywhere in the world – guaranteed. You’ll find further information on it below.
Todd Antony : “The last few years, these personal projects have taken me around the world shooting little known groups and subcultures that have an interesting or inspirational story behind them. Earlier this year, that took me to Sierra Leone to spend two weeks with the Flying Stars. The civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002) not only killed more than 50,000 people, it also led to thousands of innocent civilians having legs, arms or hands forcibly amputated by rebel soldiers. Or removed by landmines or bullets.
The Flying Star Amputees are a soccer team born out of the adversity of this war. All players are victims of civil war amputations, and soccer has brought them a level of joy, confidence, and hope for a better future for disabled people in Sierra Leone.
With no support from the government, the teams have no funding for things like crutches, ferrules (the hard rubber feet on the bottom of the crutches) or transportation to play matches with other disabled teams. Sierra Leone is the 6th poorest country in the world, and yet purchasing a set of crutches there costs 10-15 times more than in countries like the UK or US.”
Sierra Leone, officially Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa, which borders to the north and east on Guinea, in the southeast on Liberia, and in the west on the Central Atlantic. The capitol and largest city of the country is Freetown. Following a decade of bloody civil war from 1991 to 2002, which cost tens of thousands of lives, the country is now busy reconstructing and processing its recent history. And you can help with a small contribution.
GoSee : saloneflyingstars.com & gofundme.com//the-flying-stars-of-sierra-leone & toddantony.com