AdvocAid was founded in and operates across the West African nation of Sierra Leone. Home to 6.09 million, Sierra Leone is a vibrant and bustling country that so many people fall in love with.
Beauty aside though, Sierra Leone faces multiple challenges that have been exacerbated by a brutal civil war and most recently, an Ebola outbreak (2014-15). The war (1991-2002) will forever be remembered for its use of child soldiers, brutal mutilations and the role that ‘blood diamonds’ played in fuelling such atrocities.
Just over a decade later, as the country was getting back on its feet, it was hit by the world’s worst Ebola outbreak (2014-15), which took the lives of over 3,955 people and resulted in a State of Emergency, fractured health system, 12,023 orphans, months of school closures and the demise of many businesses.
Combined with neglected state structures and services, these issues leave Sierra Leone as one of the poorest countries in the world in which life expectancy hovers around 45, just 43% of the population are literate, 51% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day, women face continued marginalisation and an archaic legal system leaves too many people open to human rights abuses.