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Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kenema, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Makeni, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

The Pathway to Self Reliance

War-Affected Amputee Soccer Team War-Affected Amputee Soccer Team

Sierra Leone is a small country in the western hemisphere of Africa, she seats by the Pacific ocean with a population of 6, 144, 562 according to a 2007 data by the U.S. state department. Life expectancy for male is 38.36 years and female is 42.87 years. The civil war in Sierra Leone (1991 – 2002) left thousands of people including girls, boys and even babies amputated, some with terrible wounds from gun fire and machetes. About half a million were reported dead, thousands of these amputated victims are living in abject poverty–street begging as a source of survival.

War-Affected Amputees Begging War-Affected Amputees Begging

The staple food in Sierra Leone is rice, her people consume 98% of rice as a source of food. Sierra Leone was an exporter of rice in the early 1950s. Since 1955 the agricultural sector has not been able to meet domestic needs: imports from 1960 to 1970 average $2.7 million annually ( USDA 1968, P.18). With the outbrake of the civil war (1991 – 2002), more devastating conditions became very prevalent; farms, farm-houses were burnt, livestock killed and all conditions associated with farming, particularly rice was destroyed. Therefore the need to import rice became very clear–Sierra Leone now imports almost 100% of rice for the past thirteen years. Peace was returned to Sierra Leone in 2002 and some of the attrocities of the war include thousands of war-wounded and amputations of people of both sex and various ages.

I spent seventeen hours on both 747 Jumbo jets and five hours lay-over at Gatwick airport–a sum total of twenty-two hours on the air. Eventually, through his Grace I arrived safely in Freetown on December 9th 2007 at 8:30 p.m. December 10th, I was off to work. I began by securing a compact car and started searching for a meeting hall that will house about two hundred people for the two weeks of festivities. After some extensive search, I was able to find the Miata conference hall located in the capital Freetown. December 24th was the opening for the two weeks of festivities. Prayers, words of encouragement and hope were offered by the various speakers. The Freetown-based Campus Crusade team showed the Jesus movie translated into the most local language–English Creole. Refreshment, followed by lunch–rice and soup was served. We established great relationships with the amputees, their families, listened to thier issues and discussed the key most significant issue–“the pathway to self reliance”.

The Sierra Leone war-wounded and amputees have began their first rice harvest in December of 2007. The production scale is small but never-the -less, it is the greatest desire of trying to provide for themselves. With a single tractor and a group of amputees, the initial yield of their harvest was thirty bags of rice weighted at hundred pounds a bag.

War-Affected Amputee Rice Farm War-Affected Amputee Rice Storage

Sierra Care has been a key partner and a proud supporter to the amputees and is very please to take hold of the agricultural production opportunity. We will help to find the necessary technical and logistical support to expand on the agricultural project for the Sierra Leone War-Wounded and Amputees. The agricultural project will include rice, cassava, potato and yam production. Such farming projects will help address the immediate financial needs of the amputees, war-wounded and their families, build livelihoods that are healthy, sustainable and expanding communities.