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Rising Heart

Narrated by: Zindzi Okenyo
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One woman's astonishing journey from unimaginable trauma to becoming a power for good. 

In 1999, Sierra Leone was in the midst of a brutal civil war where mindless violence, vicious amputation and the rape of young enslaved women were the everyday weapons of bloody conflict. 

It was also where rebel soldiers snatched the young Aminata Conteh-Biger from her father's arms, then held her captive for months.

After she was released, the UNHCR recognised that her captors still posed a serious threat to her safety. So, still in her teens, she was put on a plane and flown to Australia to start afresh as a refugee in a land she knew nothing about. 

It is here that she has proudly built a life, while never allowing her trauma to define her. Yet it was a near-death experience she suffered during the birth of her child that turned her attention to the women of Sierra Leone - where they are 200 times more likely to die while having a baby than in Australia. 

So she set up the Aminata Maternal Foundation, then returned to the land of her birth to help. This is her story. 

©2020 Aminata Conteh-Biger (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd 2020

Critic Reviews

"The best and the worst of our shared humanity...breathtaking and heartbreaking." (The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO)

"The spirit of Aminata's story will stay with you long after you finish reading. Rising Heart has refuelled my sense of perspective and purpose. Aminata's courage in sharing this intensely personal story is rewarded with the power of inspiring hope. Thank you, Aminata, for sharing." (Yael Stone, actor and activist) 

"A powerful read that will make you cry at the injustice and brutality of our world - especially the treatment of women and girls - but then shed tears of admiration and hope. Aminata reminds us of the power of an individual to make a difference. She is an inspirational woman who has brought about extraordinary change, and is a shining example of why we must all be good global citizens. What a beautiful Australian story." (Natasha Stott Despoja AO)

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I couldn’t turn it off - The queen of grit and grace!

Aminita shares the joy of her early life in Sierra Leone, the tragedy of watching her world collapse during a prolonged civil war, her own kidnapping and release contrast against her later life as a refugee. Alone but for her sister, arriving into suburban sydney, putting herself through the final years of high school and her determined rise into adult and motherhood. Particularly eye opening; I knew next to nothing about the war in Sierra Leone and found it a insight into the Australian refugee program through from someone the same age who grew up just suburbs away. Confronting and raw in parts Aminata shares the incredible story of a young lady who determined to forge her own path to give back!

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