18 August 2010
Last updated at 01:24
Eight years after the official end of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war, people are only now returning to the district Kailahun where the rebellion started.
A former army corporal Foday Sankoh and his Revolutionary United Front (RUF) began their terror campaign in 1991 when they crossed over into Kailahun from neighbouring Liberia.
Thousands fled as the RUF fighters were notorious for hacking off the arms and legs of the civilian population with machetes, as well as forcibly recruiting child soldiers - scars of the war still remain.
Bullet holes, graffiti drawn by rebels and the charred remains of buildings are a common sight throughout the district.
Mr Sankoh lived in this house during the civil war. He was captured in 2000 but died in 2003 before coming to trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is currently on trial at the UN-backed court accused of funding the RUF by selling "blood diamonds" on their behalf and buying weapons for them.
Once a major producer of coffee, cocoa, cassava and palm oil, Kailahun is now known as "the forgotten district". By the end of the war many villages were completely deserted and the farmland had been overrun by jungle.
Many people have not gone home as transport costs are high and many are afraid their houses will no longer exist.
Mama Torma returned to her village of Mandopohlun to find her old home had been destroyed. The remains are now used as a drying floor for crops.
Recently, development organisations have offered funds and support to people to make the journey back to Kailahun. This process represents a chance for the regeneration of the area.
As people return, land is cultivated, seeds are planted and subsistence and commercial farming is encouraged.
As Mr Taylor's war crimes trial makes headlines around the world, life is beginning again in the former battleground of Kailahun. [Words and photos by Caroline Thomas]