Child Sponsor Sierra Leone
with its population of some six million, is located on
the west coast of Africa bordered by Guinea to its north
and east, by 291 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline to
its west and south-west and Liberia to its south-east.
independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, it
suffered its first military coup in 1967 and then a
period of relative stability until 1991 when civil war
broke out; a war in which tens of thousands died and
over one third of the population was displaced.
By the time the war was declared over in January 2002,
thousands of people, especially children, had been
killed, tortured and maimed.
including thousands of schools, had became just piles of rubble and the nation
was emotionally scarred for generations not least the country's children,
thousands of whom had been enforced under pain of death to become child
soldiers. Thousands more became orphans and for many their lives are still
desperate and lonely. Today Sierra Leone is in 177th
place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life
expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country
with a life expectancy of under 48yrs. 40% of children under the age of five
will die from Malaria; 40% of that age group are malnourished, 70% of the population live in poverty rising to 80% in
areas most affected by the war; life expectancy is just 56%; 7.7% of all
children die at birth; there are just 1.6 doctors for every 100,000 people and
over one in five of all children under the age of five are underweight. Just
over a third of the population can read and write, dropping to just 25% for
programs in Sierra Leone work with orphaned, disabled and abandoned children,
access to health, nutrition and AIDS awareness programs, education access
projects and vocational training for teenagers as well as counselling services.
Other work is undertaken with the 8,300 externally displaced refugees still
living along the border who fled neighbouring Liberia. You can help when
you sponsor a child in Sierra Leone.