Sponsor a child in Sierra Leone
The Ebola crisis has thrown Sierra Leone into the headlines in recent months. But Ebola is only one in a long line of disasters to afflict families living here. Civil war and extreme poverty have left scars on the population – and children have suffered the most.
Your support could make all the difference to a little boy or girl. Sponsor a child in Sierra Leone today:
Families afflicted by inequality, war and disease
Sierra Leone possesses significant natural wealth – yet 80% of its people live in extreme poverty. Life expectancy is among the world's lowest at 48 years, and Ebola has only put greater pressure on an already buckling health system. The crisis has left many unable to access healthcare in a country where malaria and HIV/AIDS threaten thousands. The economy has suffered too, with travel restrictions leaving many impoverished workers unable to get to work.
Traumatised by war and orphaned by HIV/AIDS
- Around 310,000 children are growing up without their parents. 18,000 children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS; others lost their parents in the civil war.
- Many children end up working to support their families, often working in mines or out in the fields.
- One in four children is malnourished, many severely.
- Illiteracy is among the world's highest. Less than half of school-age children are in education.
- Out of every 1,000 babies, 119 die in their first year.
- Numerous children have been orphaned by Ebola and face stigma from their communities. Some are even rejected by their family and have no one to care for them.
Our work in Sierra Leone
We have worked in Sierra Leone since 1974, when we opened our first Children's Village in the capital, Freetown. Today we have three Villages across the country.
Freetown Village is located on the edge of Sierra Leone's capital city. As well as providing a home for vulnerable children, we provide education to over 1,000 children from within the Village and the surrounding community. We help local youngsters acquire skills for work at our vocational training centre, and offer medical treatment at our social centre. Polio rates are high in Freetown and infection can lead to disabilities. That's why we offer support to children affected and help them inegrate into their communities.
As well as a home for orphaned and abandoned children, the Village in Bo offers support to the community at our nursery and social centre. Our primary and secondary schools provide vocational training in subjects such as textiles and other important local industries.
During the civil war, both existing Children’s Villages provided food for over mothers and children affected by the conflict, as well as medicine, food, clothing and emergency accommodation to refugees fleeing the fighting. To meet the longer term needs, we opened a third Village in Makeni, about 100 miles east of Freetown. Makeni had been a rebel stronghold during the civil war and much of the region's infrastructure had been destroyed. The Village offers a loving family home to well over 100 orphaned and abandoned children. An SOS nursery and an primary school provide education to the local community as well as those from the Children’s Village.
SOS Children's Village Trust Sierra Leone
Tel: +232 77714499, +232/76/624 064e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org