When the war came to Liberia in 1989, Saah Joseph was just 14 years old. Rebels shot both of his parents. He escaped, and walked for nine days to a refugee camp in Sierra Leone. Joseph lived in the camp for 10 years.
Then the war came to Sierra Leone. Rebels attacked the refugee camp, looking for young boys to capture and turn into soldiers. Joseph fled again and escaped to Guinea. But the war came to Guinea, too. His life was a blur of West African countries and refugee camps.
When he returned to Sierra Leone, he was arrested for being a Liberian. Government officials couldn’t tell who was a rebel fighter or who was a refugee so they threw them in jail indiscriminately. Joseph, who became a Christian when he was young, began leading morning devotions. Prison officials made him the Chaplain, which got him out of his cell more often.
“I was happy to go around because I got to feel the cool breeze on my face,” he said.