Christian Children's Fund recently re-opened sponsorship in Sierra Leone.
In 1997, CCF’s sponsorship program in Sierra Leone was curtailed by civil war that, between 1991 and 2002, took tens of thousands of lives and displaced more than 2 million people. CCF’s acting National Director in Sierra Leone, Daniel Kaindaneh, was among the millions who fled from rebel forces, suffering a gunshot wound as he escaped with his wife and family.
The volatility of the situation prohibited the continuation of sponsorship programs, which are, by design, long-term and rooted in the building and strengthening of entire communities.
CCF has continued to focus on psychosocial interventions and re-integration efforts in other areas where youth are forced into armed combat and girls are victimized by rebel forces.
Though the country is now stabilized, Sierra Leone remains one of the world's poorest nations. Property and resources have been destroyed and access to medical care is extremely limited — 238,000 people to one doctor. This lack of medical care contributes to infant mortality rates, which are among the world's poorest. Access to safe water is an additional concern as is low school enrollment rate of 31 percent.
In 2004, CCF expanded its presence throughout the seven communities that comprise Daindemben, the area approximately 180 miles from the capital city of Freetown. With funding from USAID and other organizations, CCF established programs to address the severe conditions in Sierra Leone. However, sponsorship will continue to be the vehicle for long-term healing and growth.
Sponsoring a child in Sierra Leone means he or she will benefit from:
psychosocial support and re-integration for former child soldiers and sexually abused girls;
CCF-constructed schools, complete with equipment and classroom supplies
non-traditional education for youth who must work to support themselves and their families;
Child Centered Spaces offering structured normalizing activities for children
health huts in communities that do not have access to other health care facilities;
medical treatments, including malaria prevention and prenatal care;
immunizations for children who were not immunized during years of fighting
food security initiatives;
vocational training and micro-enterprise development programs that offer jobs and small loans.