WE TARGET COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY EXTREME POVERTY, DISASTER, AND CONFLICT
WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING IN SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA
Located on the Mid-Western peninsular of West Africa, Sierra Leone rests between Guinea and Liberia, and boasts a stunning coastline laced with white sandy beaches, pristine mangroves and emerald forests bursting with tropical wildlife and exotic flora. The region is enriched with culture and more than 23 languages known to still be in use. The most widely spoken are Mende, Temne, Limba and Krio. It is commonly acknowledged and considered by the tourism industry as a destination with unspoiled characteristics, unburdened by the environmental and social footprint of wider, unsustainable tourism trends.
Despite these features, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest nations in the world and is struggling to develop against absolute poverty, disease epidemics, (notorious for the 2014 Ebola outbreak and Malaria). Ill-prepared for climate change adaptation and environmental exploitation, environmental devastation and floods, and one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. The country still struggles to recover from its ‘blood diamond’ civil war, which lasted over a decade and communities still live in the shadow of atrocities.
Due to these conditions and poor infrastructure, many talented young people are unable to access opportunities to thrive. They can be left vulnerable, on the streets and exposed to harms such as sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and abuse.
Girls, in particular, are at risk of missing out on healthy and enriching development in order to take over care-giving duties, and are often burdened with the responsibility to earn a living to support dependants.