Embracing Change in Sierra Leone
The children of Sierra Leone have endured many years of
hardship. A prolonged civil war that raged in the country from 1991 to 2002
claimed the lives of tens of thousands people and displaced many more, and many
children across Sierra Leone were orphaned or forced to fight as child soldiers.
In addition to the physical and psychological harm caused during the conflict,
the war robbed many children of the chance to enjoy their youth. ChildFund
has worked in Sierra Leone since 1985 and continues to help children adjust
to life after the war.
A Second Chance
Children who survived
the civil war sometimes need help finding direction, and many struggle with
serious psychological trauma. To address this problem, ChildFund supports an
initiative designed to help children transition back into society and learn
valuable skills that will enable them to find work and break the cycle of
Youth Employment and Support Project (YESP) was made possible by funding
from the World Bank, and the program has already proven highly successful.
Many youths have
embraced the YESP initiative enthusiastically, as they recognize it is an
excellent way for them to improve their employment prospects.
"I will become
self-employed and be able to provide for my family once I complete the
training," says Musa, a young man enrolled in YESP.
Giving Women a Voice
Although the horrors of
the conflict affected thousands of families, women and young girls especially
suffered. Many girls were sexually abused during the war, and even some of those
fortunate enough to escape the violence remain marginalized and lack educational
opportunities they need to better themselves.
To combat this problem,
ChildFund works to provide emotional and psychosocial support to young women and
girls affected by the war and offer them training programs to improve their
skills. More than 1,000 girls have received psychological assistance, and 600
more have enrolled in income-generation programs designed to help them earn a
ChildFund has made great
strides in helping survivors adjust to post-war life, but there is still much
for us to do. Sponsoring
a child in Sierra Leone is one way you can provide food, clothing and
essential medical supplies to vulnerable children who need it most.
Alternatively, our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog offers many ways to
help communities in Sierra Leone, including water
pumps for rural villages.