Supporting smallholder farmer communities.

Overcoming rural child labour.

Sierra Leone

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Child Labour in Sierra Leone

 

More than one in two children in Sierra Leone are affected by child labour. The majority of them works on their parents' fields

This boy is kept from attend school regularly, he is planting sweet potato and cassava with his siblings and his mother on this recently burned piece of forest.

Child labour is a widespread problem in Sierra Leone. Almost always poverty is the cause for child labour because poor households are more likely to depend on their children’s labour power for their survival. In agrarian countries such as Sierra Leone where 70 to 80 per cent of the population are smallholder farmers, there is a direct connection between child labour, education and agriculture. This is because in order to enable children to attend school their labour power must become dispensable. Most of the time even in remote rural areas in the Savannah the small villages possess village schools. However, the problem remains that a lot of children are forced to work on the fields and thus cannot attend classes. Especially during the agricultural peak seasons – that is to say during field preparation, sowing and harvest – parents are dependent on their children’s labour. Even children who usually attend classes are then often withdrawn from school to contribute to the field work.

 

In Sierra Leone, most farmers lack even basic agricultural tools which makes the fieldwork particularly exhausting and unproductive. As a consequence, some families decide to stop farming. Instead, they work as petty traders or in the mining sectors. In the East of Sierra Leone – which is the centre of diamond mining – people are digging with simple manual tools hoping that someday a diamond discovery will put an end to their tedious work.  

Overcoming Rural Child Labour

With farmer families getting agricultural support, their children have a chance of attending school permanently.

The farmers that get agricultural support from us stop being dependent on their children’s labour power. Through more diverse and improved seeds and agricultural machinery, they are able to earn a surplus which they can sell on local markets. With these earnings, they are able to finance their children’s education and whatever they decide corresponds best to their development needs. Like that, GreenRise enables farmers to achieve their own earnings and to care for their families.

Primary school in Pujehun, Southern Sierra Leone

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In these pictures, the children are beaming with joy and excitement. They probably saw a camera for the first time in their life when Tom took these pictures of them in early 2018. Their smiles do however not conceal that their family is leading a hard life.

 

Close to a river, the family is mining big rocks with mere physical labour and some hand hoes. The children dive to the ground of the river to collect stones which they smash to small bits with hammers. The resulting grit is then sold as a building material. Whoever grows up under such circumstances has hardly any chance of exiting the vicious circle of poverty, lacking education and hopelessness.

Donations Account

Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg

LzO Cloppenburg

DE92 2805 0100 0092 8291 42

GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.

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Donations Account

Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg

LzO Cloppenburg

DE92 2805 0100 0092 8291 42

GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.

Contact          Imprint          Data Protection (German)

5 Facts about Child Labour in Sierra Leone

 

1. In Sierra Leone, children mostly work in agriculture.

 

2. Additionally, children work in the mining industry as, for example, in diamond mines. They search for residues on landfills or sidewalks. They work on the streets and on street markets as petty traders.

 

3. Sierra Leone is both a source and destination country for child trafficking. Child trafficking occurs for forced labour and forced prostitution.

 

4. During the Ebola crisis, rural poverty increased as a consequence of the quarantines which prevented people from leaving their houses. Consequently, the harvests were often left to rot in the fields. The number of girls in prostitution rose dramatically as the earnings from prostitution were necessary to contribute to the family's survival. 

 

5. In Sierra Leone, more than 50 per cent of children between the age of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour. More than 40 per cent of the children both work and attend school.

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Donations

Donations Account

Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg

LzO Cloppenburg

DE92 2805 0100 0092 8291 42

GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.

Contact          Imprint          Data Protection (German)