When gunfire rang out through the village just after dawn, when neighbors dropped their coffee to flee, even when her mother grabbed three younger children and ran for her life, the 10-year-old girl did not budge.
It was not that terror pinned Hamamatou Harouna to the ground, although she was terrified. It was that polio had left her unable to walk.
So all she could do was wait and watch, paralyzed, as the vicious war between Muslims and Christians in Central African Republic came to her village. The Christian fighters were going from door to door, and she wondered if she would die.
That’s when her 12-year-old brother came to her rescue. Barely bigger than his sister, Souleymane struggled to hoist her, all 40 pounds of her, onto his back. Around his neck she clasped her calloused hands, dirty from pulling herself over the ground.