In Sierra Leone, poverty, insufficient health care and disease cause the deaths of a quarter of all children under 5 every year. Your help can prevent it.
Sierra Leone and its West African neighbour Liberia are beautiful countries with rich cultural and academic traditions. But as they strive to emerge from the effects of civil war, their inhabitants are struggling against official corruption, poverty and disease. Public sanitation is a nightmare. Hospitals are ramshackle and woefully under equipped. Malaria claims lives at an obscene rate; Sierra Leone has the highest child mortality rate in the world, with one in every four children dying before they reach the age of 5.
Watch the video below featuring McCall to learn more about the situation in the town of Kingsville - where young children are under constant risk.
Over the course of the last year, the price of staple foods has doubled in Sierra Leone. Parents are desperately worried that they will not be able to feed their offspring. To us, 14p is a pittance. To a desperately poor family in Sierra Leone it is anything but. Parents struggle to raise even that sum, which is just enough to buy a cup of rice.
In Kroo Bay, a poverty stricken suburb of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, hospitals are struggling to cope. Faulty electrical systems, leaks, general disrepair and a chronic lack of facilities mean that adequate treatment cannot be given to children suffering from widespread, easily preventable diseases. The children are also forced to live and wash in pestilent water that is strewn with garbage. Disease is rife, but because of extreme poverty people don’t have the money to afford the simple safeguards and treatments required to prevent it.
These children need our help. Since civil war ended in Sierra Leone in 2002, and in Liberia the following year, outside aid has made a real difference. But more is required if an end is finally to be put to the inhuman standard of living that so many of their inhabitants are forced to endure. Even a small donation can make a huge difference - and could even save a child’s life.
To see the all the videos in the series narrated by the people of Sierra Leone themselves, click the link below. Meet Fatu - a mother of two who struggles to provide for her infant twins Khadija and Fatima, and hear the harrowing stories from the children of Kroo Bay. You can also make a donation.