Sierra Leone: Investing in the nation’s future

After the end of Sierra Leone’s extended civil war, a group of people who wanted to help the country rebuild decided to provide educational opportunities for children in their own communities. They raised funds to build simple school buildings and to pay teachers’ salaries.  As the schools became established, our partners realised that students and their families also needed basic health education and medical services, and later employment opportunities for those in remote areas. This led them to start a clinic, with a travelling health clinic team, and establish village bakeries.

They are planning to build and equip dormitories for senior secondary school students, open a micro-finance office, and provide simple poverty relief supplies such as shoes and clothing.

This shipment will include items ranging from mattresses and kitchen supplies for dormitories to office furniture, computers, and clothing.

Benjamin’s story

When our partners opened a primary school in Benjamin’s district, he became the first person in his family ever to attend school. Despite a 6 km walk between school and his family’s farming plot, he excelled at his studies. Benjamin not only finished primary school but also secondary school and then graduated from university with a teaching degree. As a teacher, he enjoys being an example and a source of encouragement for children who come from similar backgrounds.

Esther’s story

When Esther’s family moved to a small village, she was afraid that her schooling would come to an end. She was delighted to discover our partners’ secondary school there with “diligent and knowledgeable” staff.

When a nurse visited the school to give lessons on health and hygiene, Esther immediately knew that she too wanted to become a health professional. She is now in her second year, studying nursing at university.

This modest, 5-room school is built and staffed by our partners. It is the only secondary school in this district of northern Sierra Leone.

This shipment will include stationery, books, furniture and other school supplies to provide educational opportunities for many others like Esther and Benjamin.


Sierra Leone snapshot

Population: 8.9 million
Capital: Freetown
Main languages: English (official), Mende, Temne, Krio
Poverty rate: 60% of the population survives on less than US$2 per day.

This small country boasts both great natural beauty and mineral wealth but issues including high level corruption and tropical diseases like Ebola have left it as one of the 10 poorest countries in the world.   Although its people are known as resourceful, hard-working, and resilient, most of them currently use these strengths simply to stay alive.

Sources: CIA Factbook, BBC

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