Sierra Leone

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Our Program

Since 1976, Development and Peace’s program in Sierra Leone has been helping to strengthen the country's democracy as well as its social and economic development. Our focus has been on promoting transparency and respect for human rights in the exploitation of both agricultural and mineral resources.

The objective of the program is to ensure that the profits generated contribute effectively to just and sustainable development within the poorest and most marginalized communities in the country.

Sierra Leone

Sahr Komba, participating in the Handicap Empowerment for Livelihoods Promotion project, at work in the city of Koidu, located in the eastern part of the country.

Development and Peace has developed a strategy that prioritizes strengthening civil society organizations such as community radio stations, citizen coalitions and peasant associations.

 

The issues we work on to build justice:

Peace and reconciliation icon

Peace and reconciliation

Natural resources icon

Natural Resources

Democracy and citizen participation icon

Democracy
and citizen participation

Equality between women and men icon

Equality between
women and men

Food icon

Food

Humanitarian assistance icon

Humanitarian assistance

 

The situation

Sierra Leone is slowly rebuilding after a terrible civil war that tore it apart between 1991 and 2000, causing the death of an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 people, maiming thousands, and displacing over 2.5 million children, women and men, i.e. one third of the entire population. More than 5,000 children, both boys and girls, were recruited as child soldiers.

The country's economy came to a standstill and more than half of the population now lives in extreme poverty. Despite significant natural resources (diamonds, titanium, bauxite, iron, etc.) and an agricultural sector with great potential, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

Recently the country was severely affected by the Ebola outbreak, which also spread to other countries in West Africa. In one year, the epidemic affected nearly 30,000 people and took over 10,000 lives.

News
April 7, 2015

The first time I heard about Sierra Leone, I was 14 or 15. I read an article about child soldiers who were fighting in the civil war. From the pictures I saw - children with guns, drugged and dismembered - it certainly did not appear “civil.” My heart broke. I couldn’t stay silent about this injustice so I wrote a paper for a high school project.

March 5, 2015

In response to the Ebola outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa, Development and Peace is contributing an additional $100,000 to Caritas Sierra Leone’s humanitarian interventions.

January 14, 2015

Sierra Leone currently has the highest incidence of Ebola, with over 7,786 infections and 2,696 confirmed deaths (as of January 14, 2015). Beyond the immediate health crisis, there have also been concerns raised pertaining to the long term socio-economic impacts of the disease.

A training with Caritas community health volunteers in Sierra Leone
November 17, 2014

The Ebola epidemic currently raging in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is the largest, longest and most complex ever known. Its scope and exponential growth go beyond the highly lethal nature of the virus itself and are explained by the negative effects of poverty and inequality.

September 24, 2014

The Ebola virus, which has been officially declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization, is undermining weak healthcare systems in the three countries currently facing outbreaks, namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

September 19, 2014

The worst Ebola epidemic in history poses a real health challenge in three of the poorest countries in the world. In Liberia and in Sierra Leone, both of which recently emerged from civil wars, the epidemic also represents another serious obstacle to development because of its psychological, social and economic consequences.

August 26, 2014

Since viruses do not recognize borders, the Ebola virus disease has become a threat for several neighbouring West African countries. Adding to the difficulty of finding a transnational solution is the pressure of controlling a disease that has social, psychological and economic implications.

May 20, 2014

More than a decade after a horrifying civil war ravaged Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002, leading to the death of 120,000 people and the mutilation of thousands of civilians, this small country in Western Africa of 6.3 million people, is courageously rebuilding itself.

June 20, 2012

I first visited Blama in November, 1989.  It was my first trip as a program officer for Development and Peace.  After visiting the Pastoral and Social Center, where Development and Peace was funding an impressive leadersh

Pictures

Sierra Leone - 2014