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Sierra Leone
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With 80% of its population living in poverty and life expectancy as low as 48, growing up is tough in Sierra Leone. In Freetown, Makeni and Bo, we provide the most vulnerable children with the opportunities they need to flourish, from education and healthcare to a loving family. … more about our charity work in Sierra Leone

Ebola: Rebuilding lives in Sierra Leone

Charles is an Ebola orphan but has since found a new home at SOS Children's Village Makeni
Charles is an Ebola orphan but has since found a new home at SOS Children's Village Makeni

At the height of the Ebola outbreak our emergency relief efforts reached thousands of people in the affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Today, thanks to the generous support of our donors, we are continuing to assist communities ripped apart by the disease and are giving many orphaned children a new, loving home.

Heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported our Ebola appeal last year. Though the worst of the crisis is over, the country is now dealing with the terrible after-effects of losing so many people. 

A hopeful future

The SOS Children’s Villages in FreetownBo and Makeni are taking in children orphaned by the virus. You may remember our story on Charles (pictured), who was one of the first children to come into our care last year. We’re happy to report that he and the other orphans at Makeni have now settled well into their new home with SOS mother Mabinty.

Since our UK appeal raised a wonderful £60,000, we have been able to use funds to help affected families get back on their feet. In Makeni, Bo and Freetown we have provided staples such as bags of rice, beans and cooking oil, mosquito nets and hygiene items such as soap and Dettol to prevent fresh disease. This is part of the process of restarting our Isle of Man Government-funded food security project, which had to be suspended during the Ebola outbreak, through which caregivers will receive loans and livestock training.

Supporting Marie

26-year-old Marie Mansaray heads up one of the families on the SOS food security programme in Goderich, Freetown. Marie lost her mother, daughter and sister to the Ebola virus and says their deaths have “left a big scar”.

FSP Sierra Leone participant Marie
Marie is holding her family together, supported by our Family Strengthening Programme

Since her mother was looking after ten grandchildren when she died, Marie has taken over this huge responsibility.“The value of the shade is not known until the tree is cut down,” says Marie of her mother’s life.

Although the family is still coming to terms with the deaths of so many loved ones, Marie is determined to look after all the children and keep them in school. To that end, she is looking forward to the extra income which rearing livestock in her backyard should afford the family. Marie is deeply appreciative of the support being provided by SOS Children’s Villages, all thanks to the generosity of UK donors.

We've been operating in Sierra Leone since 1974, giving children with no-one else to care for them a mother and a loving home. Find out more about our work there and how you can help.

Please note that our Ebola appeal is now closed.