Policeman, public relations officer, social worker, counsellor, father, husband and more recently owner of the much coveted Legs4Africa Gold Badge. Since playing a key role in the GAA’s inception four years back Alieu Touray has been tirelessly dedicated to the progress of amputees within Gambian society.
“ To be a part of such an association is an interest of the heart. It brings us together to share with one another but also with charities and other agencies concerned with differently able persons.”
It was during his time a traffic officer that Alieu was hit by a car the result of which was a below knee amputation. A well respected member of the force, his sergeant was willing to do whatever he could to ensure Alieu could return so he offered Alieu less physically demanding positons.
“ I insisted on resuming my role as a uniformed officer so that people would see that I was capable just as much as anyone was. My department made me sign a contract to say that they had offered me ‘safer’ roles.”
For five years post-operation Alieu continued to work as a uniformed officer in the Gambian police force. Having been a police officer for his entire working life in November 2018 Mr. Touray hit the books and enrolled on a course to become a social worker.
“The experience I went through with it’s difficulties, I believe gaining this qualification will contribute a lot in the assistance of my fellow amputees, from the counselling stage to ongoing support and finally on to independence.”
“Since beginning the course I have been visiting amputees voluntarily at the mobility centre and at a local teaching hospital. I have made an arrangement with management there that I am notified of any patients who are newly amputated or are due to be so that I can go and offer support from my lived experience.”
In January Alieu helped U.K. based mental health professional Katie Taylor-Smith to deliver a three day Mental Health and Peer Counselling training course to ten members of the GAA.
“People are congratulating me at all ends about the Gold Badge. I feel very proud!”
Alieu plans to expand the level of emotional support amputees have access to both in hospital and the community in The Gambia.
Legs4Africa CEO Phil Tunstall shows our appreciation by awarding Alieu a Gold Badge to applause from the newly trained peer counsellors.