Sierra Leone: Community development and education
Community development and education
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The civil war in Sierra Leone ended years ago but the effects are still felt through inadequate health, education and employment opportunities, especially in rural areas. While still recovering from the armed conflict, the nation was hit by the deadly Ebola outbreak, which left thousands of children orphaned and traumatised. Today, Sierra Leone is one of the five least developed nations in the world.
We are shipping to a group in Sierra Leone who reach out to address the complex needs that are keeping their communities trapped in poverty. They run projects like:
- Job skills training for youth
- Care for children orphaned by the Ebola epidemic who are suffering post-traumatic stress and vulnerable to abuse and neglect
- Community education to end child marriages and female genital mutilation
- Cooperatives for the social and economic empowerment of women
We are shipping a range of goods to support their work across all their programs.
For thousands who were injured or lost limbs in the civil war, it can be very difficult to sustain employment, leaving many with disabilities in poverty. Goods from this shipment will help in our partners’ projects offering skills training to people with disabilities.
Abie was an orphan, living with her aunt, who would send her into the town streets to sell food. One day, Abie was attacked and her money stolen by a street gang, but when Abie returned in tears to tell her aunt, she was beaten and chased back into the street to recover the money she had lost.
While wandering the streets unable to earn back the money she needed, Abie befriended some local women who were making their living through prostitution, and soon she turned to the same career. Thankfully, after some time, staff from our partner NGO met Abie and they counselled and supported her into returning to school, where she’s now a successful student.
This shipment will include goods to support our partners’ projects with youth like Abie, helping them find better, safer paths into adulthood.
Our partners use drama, music and dance in their community education programs with teens and adults on topics like HIV prevention, ending child marriage and ending female genital mutilation.
On one of their field trips to remote villages, our partners met Alhaji. The young boy who should have been in school was instead roaming the village doing odd jobs for people in return for food. Staff soon learnt that he was an orphan living with his grandmother, who couldn’t afford food for either herself or Alhaji. Today, with our partners’ help, Alhaji is back in school and he and his grandmother have food assistance while he studies. This shipment will include goods to support orphans like Alhaji to stay in school and break out of poverty.
Sierra Leone snapshot
Population: 7.5 million
Main languages: English (official), Mende, Temne, Krio
Sierra Leone is situated on the Atlantic coast in West Africa. It has a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. The country is rich in resources but economically impoverished, with 60% living below the national poverty line. The country was devastated by a civil war through the 1990s, which killed between 70,000 – 300,000 people and left many thousands of people missing limbs, ears or fingers. Youth unemployment is very high.
Source: UNDP, World Bank
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