Every new partner that becomes part of the SeeYourImpact network provides an opportunity for us to learn, explore new cultures, discover creative solutions to difficult problems and engage with people creating change. We recently partnered with a group named Door of Hope, a member of the DevelopAfrica network. It’s been fascinating and sometimes simply devastating to learn about the history of Sierra Leone where Door of Hope is based.
The Republic of Sierra Leone was founded in the 1971 ten years after independence was declared from the United Kingdom. Sierra Leone’s rich cultural history precedes that by thousands of years however. A country of fifteen ethnic groups and many religions Sierra Leone has historically been devoid of major ethnic divisions and religious divisions. However, the ability of Sierra Leone to bring together various ethnic groups and religion peacefully could not stop warring political factions from destroying the country.
A Country Torn Apart by War
In 1991 a Civil War which would last the better part of a decade began. The war wreaked havoc on Sierra Leone’s people leaving an estimated 75,000 dead. Infrastructure was destroyed and Sierra Leone quickly became one of the poorest countries in the world. After the Civil War ended in 2002 Sierra Leone began the long slow process of healing. Today the country is steadily rebuilding and growing. Despite this growth Sierra Leone ranks as the third lowest country on the Human Development Index and seventh lowest on the Human Poverty Index. Noted for it’s considerable education achievements and entrepreneurial skills before the Civil War, Sierra Leone is now fighting a different battle now, to keep students healthy and in classrooms.
The future of Sierra Leone
Door of Hope was founded by an elementary school teacher, Joshua Sandy, who noticed that students (particularly girls) in ill health were dropping out an a high rate. Joshua knew that the future of Sierra Leone resides within the children and he decided to do something about it. With meager resources he brought together like-minded community members to help meet the health, nutritional, and educational needs of vulnerable and under served children. Their mission “to build communities where all would have equal opportunity to live a dignified life and have access to available resources that will make them the best they can be.” Today Door of Hope provides the opportunity to change a life through a simple gift. Healthy students are a vital part of the future of Sierra Leone
Has someone in your community brought together resources to solve a problem? How did they do it?