During the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone, rebels would cut off the arms and legs of civilians as a scare tactic, leaving behind thousands of war amputees. After the war, 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer David Moinina Sengeh, who was born and raised in Sierra Leone, became involved in helping these amputees. They were given prosthetics to wear, but most chose not to wear them because they were so uncomfortable.
Later in life, Sengeh joined the Biomechatronics group in the MIT Media Lab as a Ph.D. candidate, where he began work on designing comfortable prosthetics. There, he began to realize that it wasn't just the prosthetics in Sierra Leone that were uncomfortable.