Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone Infographic

Overview

Located on Africa’s west coast and about the size of South Carolina, Sierra Leone is still recovering from a brutal 10-year civil war that ended in 2002. Tens of thousands of lives were lost, and about one-third of the population was displaced. The country ranks 180 out of 182 countries on the UN Human Development Index.

Sierra Leone’s maternal and infant mortality rate is among the world’s highest because of malnutrition and lack of access to health care. It is one of the world’s poorest countries. Almost three out of four people live on less than the equivalent of $2 a day.

ChildFund has served children in Sierra Leone since 1985.

Smiling children in Sierra Leone

Children and Youth in a Post-Conflict Society

To assist the post-war healing process, we’re working with community partners to reintegrate thousands of people. More than 1,000 adults have been trained to support children’s rights and psychosocial education. We also provide vocational training for unaccompanied and internally displaced children, children of adult amputees, teenage mothers and unemployed boys. We’ve provided skills training and income-generation projects for more than 400 ex-soldiers and youths in 16 communities in 100 villages.

We provide family mediation, unification and creation of child-friendly spaces. We support community-based Child Well-Being Committees to help protect the rights of children and keep them from further abuse. “Drop-In Centers” for street children are safe places with clothing, food and school supplies. These children can also take advantage of informal education and skills training as well as counseling.

Untold numbers of girls and young women were sexually exploited during the war and are now alienated and separated from their families and communities. We work to improve their emotional and physical health by bringing them back into society and providing skills to help them return to their lives and their futures. More than 1,000 girls have already received psychosocial training, and 600 are enrolled in income-generating programs.

 

Education

Nearly 60 percent of Sierra Leone’s school-age children do not attend school. Because education is undervalued, we raise awareness of the importance of literacy and skills training and have created informal schools so that children have access to learning. With the help of our community partners, we are rebuilding schools, providing teaching and learning materials and training educators.

Health

Through ChildFund’s integrated child survival projects, trained community health volunteers monitor young children’s growth and educate mothers about the danger signs of malnutrition in addition to maintaining a nutritious diet for their children.

These trained volunteers also educate children and families about protecting themselves from preventable, and often deadly, diseases such as malaria, cholera, HIV and AIDS and others. Because only 57 percent of Sierra Leone’s population has access to clean water, improving families’ access to safe water and sanitation facilities is vital to improving public health, so ChildFund works with communities to construct and maintain water pumps and safe latrines.

Accountability

ChildFund International has earned high ratings from Charity Navigator, the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charities Review Council.

Learn more about our financial accountability »

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