February 23, 2020



Bakit in 2008

I met Bakit Musa in Goz Beida, Chad, when I traveled there with Mia in 2008. At that time Bakit was 7 years old. In January that year he had picked up an unexploded RPG when he and his friends had been out playing. It left him with only one eye, no arms from the elbows down, and scars all over his face and chest. His father had died the year before and his mother had abandoned him and his brother, who was 8.


Bakit in 2008

Bakit and his brother were with their grandmother in an IDP shelter constructed of branches and plastic sheeting when Mia and I met them. Bakit had not smiled since he was hurt. But whenever he was asked if he was in pain he would say “I am fine”. The first change in this stoic response had been a week earlier when he told Laura, an impressive 60-something NGO worker were are staying with, “I want my hands back” – – seemed not so much for a 7 year old to ask for. He was surely the most courageous little boy I had ever met.

As much as the situation of the refugees in Chad is awful, the situation of the IDPs is in many ways worse since UNHCR does not have the mandate to assist them (though it tries anyway), and yet the Chadian Government does not fulfill its responsibilities to them either.

Mia is back in Chad now and met up with Bakit again yesterday. She sent me this photo (below) – what a transformation two years can make. She says he is doing really well. Nothing has made my heart smile so much in ages. . . .


Bakit today


  1. Hello.
    I have a documentary of Bakité, 2010 …and your plastic hand……”TERRA DE BAKITE-2012″

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