Sierra Leone

Population:5.87 millionLiteracy Rate:41%Religion: Roman Catholic (3%)

Salesian Missions is a vital presence in Sierra Leone, a place that ranks dead last among 179 countries for the wellbeing of its people. The fallout from a brutal 10-year civil war includes 500,000 displaced families, 60,000 orphans, and thousands of street children. Two-thirds of the population is impoverished and unemployment rates are at crisis levels.

Featured Mission

Build Schools

Sierra Leone is still recovering from a brutal 10-year civil war.  More than 500,000 people were displaced and more than 60,000 children were orphaned and homeless.  In the 2008 Human Development Index, Sierra Leone ranks last among 179 countries for the well-being of its people.

The Don Bosco Fambul program aims to change the lives of children.  It directly addresses issues facing street children – including emotional trauma from the war and lost family.  With the goal of reuniting with their families, youth participate in a 10-month program which includes counseling and medical care – as well as education.

Youth attend classes during the day, according to their level of ability and any previous schooling.  In the evening, youth are responsible for helping each other with homework.  Youth are tested each month and receive encouragement for progress -- building self esteem and motivation – and hope for the future.

 


More Missions in Sierra Leone

Bring Sports Programs

The majority of street children in Sierra Leone have lived on the streets for many years.  To overcome the psychological effects, youth need support and help with reintegration.  At the Don Bosco Fambul program in Freetown, former street children take part in a specialized reintegration program with activities including counseling, play, conflict resolution, peace education and music.  Children are assessed to determine their capabilities, and sports are a vital part of the recovery process for many.

Youth play and compete in soccer, basketball and other events.  They develop teamwork skills – critical for youth who have learned to survive on their own – and other interpersonal skills to form lasting relationships.  Youth who participate in these positive activities also gain a sense of commitment and self worth – as well as experience some of the joys of childhood. 

Teach Job Skills to Youth

At a Center for carpentry and agriculture training, youth can learn any number of skills from carpentry, masonry and metal work to computer skills and graphic arts. Employment-centered training and workshops help connect youth with work opportunities. The goal is for them to be productive, caring adults in their communities.

Feed Hungry Children

More than 60,000 children were orphaned or left homeless during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Don Bosco Fambul was one of the first organizations during the war to offer shelter and food to street children and continues its work today to help reverse the effects of war. Boys ages 8-15 years old are invited to become part of the program, which includes food, shelter, education and counseling – all with the goal of being reunited with their families.

Most of the youth who choose to participate are malnourished and are in very poor health when they enter the program. When they receive three good meals a day, youth are better prepared to take part in the counseling and education offered – as well as to face their future

Build Shelters for Homeless

More than 60,000 children were orphaned or left homeless during Sierra Leone’s civil war. Don Bosco Fambul was one of the first organizations during the war to offer shelter and food to street children and continues its work today to help reverse the effects of war. Boys ages 8-15 years old are invited to become part of the program, which includes food, shelter, education and counseling – all with the goal of being reunited with their families.

For some youth, care in a foster home is a step in the reunification process. They live with foster families for up to twelve months while a healthy environment is established in their family. In the foster homes, youth adjust to being part of a family again while living in a safe and secure environment.

Build Youth Centers

In the 2008 Human Development Index, Sierra Leone ranks last among 179 countries for the well-being of its people. With the struggles of daily life, many youth lack hope or the sense of opportunity.

Preventing these youth from falling into despair is the goal of the Don Bosco Fambul Youth Center. It provides youth with their own place to explore their talents, feel part of society and equip themselves to deal with the challenges of growing up in Sierra Leone. Activities are designed to address social, cultural and environmental issues and include sporting events, tutoring, holiday camps and counseling. Youth also learn how to become strong individuals and leaders in their communities.

One highlight is the Don Bosco brass band – as music plays a very important aspect in the lives of Africans and many youth are eager to learn to play instruments.

The result is youth who feel strong in their own identify – and pride for their country and what it can become.

Give Hope to Street Children

In Sierra Leone, approximately two thirds of the population of six million lives below the poverty line, according to the UN World Food Program. Unemployment is high among youth, and many children were orphaned in the war.

At-risk youth find hope at Don Bosco Fambul, which provides immediate services to street children as well as long-term advocacy and prevention programs:

  • Street children and family reunification program.
  • Youth Center which assists vulnerable youth in education and helps prevent children from leaving their homes for life on the street.
  • Nationwide call-in line for youth in crisis. Staffed with social education workers, legal professionals and nurses, youth can find support in a confidential manner day or night.
  • Strategic partnership with UNICEF Sierra Leone to provide a voice for children in government policy and child protection affairs.

Through education and programs, at-risk youth develop the skills and self-esteem needed to be leaders in rebuilding their country.

Support Our Missions

Your gift now will help Salesian Missions provide the urgently needed care and
hope to children around the globe
Donate Now

Sign-up for our eNewsletter