Reporting by ChildFund Sierra Leone
Over the course of January’s 31 days, we’re making a blog stop in each country where we serve children, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and donors. In Sierra Leone, children are discovering new opportunities through education and sponsor support.
Located on Africa’s west coast, Sierra Leone is still recovering from a 10-year civil war that ended in 2002. Tens of thousands of lives were lost and about a third of the population was displaced.
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’s also one of the world’s poorest countries, with almost three out of four people living on less than the equivalent of $2 a day.
ChildFund began work in Sierra Leone in 1985, and today is one of the leading child development agencies in the country, with a strong focus on child protection, psychosocial support and skills building for children and youth.
Nearly 60 percent of Sierra Leone’s school-age children do not attend school. ChildFund has worked closely with local partners to educate community members on the value of education for their children and the long-term benefits of nurturing and protecting the next generation.
Child sponsorship has played a critical role in not only providing desperately needed services to Sierra Leone’s children but also helping them experience the joys of childhood. Sponsors’ cards, letters and words of encouragement are just what these children need right now.