A Portrait of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is situated in West Africa, and it is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. It’s a wonderful tropical country boasting pristine white beaches, virgin forests which are home to chimpanzees, forest elephants and pygmy hippos. It’s also a country of vast Savannah grasslands. Yet, underneath this beautiful surface there rest the blood diamonds, the ores and the gold which fuelled the bloody civil war which came to an end only some 15 years ago. Today, Sierra Leone impresses visitors as being an exceptionally peaceful country. As the war came to an end, people grew tired of fighting and returned to the values of tolerance and unity. Nowadays, this can be felt throughout the country. Even in remote Savannah villages religions are mixed and peacefully coexist. The 16 ethnicities accept each other and form one nation.
Sierra Leone is a country of incredible opposites. Children are joyfully playing in ponds and rivers in the surroundings of their villages. They are beaming with excitement on the rare occasion of spotting a tourist’s white face. Though, they often have a tremendously hard childhood. Extreme poverty. Genital mutilation. Child labour.
It is a country full of helpful, hopeful and warm-hearted people. Dressed in glaringly colourful cloths women are hustling through the crowded and lively markets. Rice. Cassava. Fresh fish. Chillies. Chicken feet. Yet, often people are deprived of the very least unable to satisfy even their most basic necessities. In the heart of Freetown, people are living off a burning landfill searching for useable residues. In the countryside, farmers are working on their fields under the glaring tropical sun. Lacking even simple tools they are fighting for the survival of their families.
In remote areas, women are sitting in front of dried up water springs hoping for fresh water to resurface. The maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world. The people are without prospects. Powerless. Exhausted. Their faces are dull. It’s this country of incredible opposites whose grateful people GreenRise supports with agricultural projects.
Poverty in Sierra Leone
From a global perspective, over the last 20 years, the total number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped dramatically. This is excellent news for anybody hoping and standing up for a better world. Unfortunately, sub-Saharan Africa is barely affected by the improvement of global living standards.
Health and Nutrition
Chad, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone are the three countries with the lowest life expectancy in the world. It is at roughly 51 years. This unfortunate record is driven by the poor nutritional situation, lack of access to safe drinking water and corruption in the public health sector.
Left to their own devices, women often face great difficulties in sustaining their families. In Sierra Leone – a country in which the soil can be considered the most valuable resource – women are not allowed to own land.
Gallery Sierra Leone
Here you can find impressions of Sierra Leone, ranging from beautiful landscapes and nature to traditional life in rural villages to snapshots from GreenRise staff.
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GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.