In 2005, Dave Tacon brought us the story of Santos, a woodcarver in Sierra Leone. To recap, Santo’s right hand was amputated by dissident soldiers when he was in his teens. Struggling to recover from this incident, and the civil war that was crippling his country, Santos sought shelter in the Freetown Amputee Camp.
one of Santos’ chimp wood carvings – click for larger imageThe nuns from the Cluny Sisters Catholic Mission helped Santos to identify and build upon his natural ability as a wood sculptor. The nuns assisted by organising an apprenticeship for him with a local woodcarver. He gradually earned enough to rent a shed, to use as a workshop. With your contributions to Melbourne Overseas Missions, Santos was able to purchase better equipment and further attain his rightful place in Santos and family – click to view larger imagesociety.
Two years on, Santos has a steady job at the Tacuguma Chimpanzee Sanctuary, making carvings which are sold to the public. He is independent, happy and in great shape. At the end of last year, Santos and his wife Isata became parents to a beautiful baby girl – Fiona – ever increasing their happiness.