50,000 people died in the civil war in Sierra Leone, and nearly 4,000 were lost during the Ebola crisis. As a result it is estimated that almost 10 percent of the population suffer from anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. In the entire country there’s only one psychiatrist, two nurse practitioners and very few mental health workers operating. In this vacuum, Christian groups are now training pastors and church leaders to become counsellors supported by a drop-in counselling centre in Freetown. Many of the 3,000 people who’ve visited the centre so far had heard about the service through a local Christian radio station which also operates a late-night call-in show to help traumatized listeners. Pray that the counsellors and employees at the centre and the radio station will have increased opportunities to free people from the wounds of the past and to share the hope of Jesus for the future.
Since February, more than 900 people have died as a result of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with suspected cases in Nigeria. Tearfund partners are working with churches to improve awareness and understanding of Ebola among their communities and to help prevent the spread of the disease. Pray for the disease to be contained, for the recovery of those already going through treatment, and for the international community to provide additional health expertise swiftly.
In Sierra Leone, poverty, lack of knowledge about their rights and a small legal profession has resulted in most women being unable to access legal representation or advice. AdvocAid helps by facilitating access to legal representation, organising legal education workshops and literacy programmes for the female prison population. Due to their legal aid work, there is now a notable decrease in the number of female prisoners. Thank God that, with His help, such an significant difference has been made in so many lives. Pray that such blessings will continue.
Sierra Leone is a small state on the West coast of Africa. It is rich in natural resources, including diamonds, gold and titanium, and experienced some prosperity until 1991. The subsequent descent into anarchy and civil war caused the economic, educational and social infrastructure to collapse and Sierra Leone is now one of the poorest countries in the world. The literacy rate of the total population is 31% and in many communities children have little or no access to education. Furthermore, Sierra Leone has about 75,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. There is widespread ignorance about this disease and how it can be avoided and medical facilities are scarce in most areas while even those available are not always affordable and hygienic.
Population: 7,075,641 (2015)
Official languages: English
GDP (PPP) per capita: $1,760 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 57 years
Religions: 63% Muslim, 18% indigenous beliefs, 5% Catholic, 14% Protestant