There are some things in life that only become relevant when you’re hammered with its importance every day–and then you wonder how anyone can ignore it. Such is the case forDavid Sengeh, a PhD student at MIT who grew up during Sierra Leone’s 11 year-long civil war.

Sengeh was there when up to 11,000 people–in a small country of under six million–had limb amputations resulting from the violence. And he was there to see just how inadequate today’s hard plastic prosthetics are for amputees, who sometimes don’t even bother wearing their prosthetics

because the socket (the device that hooks up the residual limb and the prosthetic) is so painful.