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Where is Sierra Leone?

Sierra Leone is located on the southwestern coast of West Africa

Our impact


Since 2002, Sierra Leone has remained peaceful. However, this is a fragile peace. Youth unemployment and widening political and ethnic divisions all threaten stability.

The Ebola epidemic ravaged Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2015. It caused the deaths of more than 11,300 people and affected tens of thousands more. This contributed to an economic crisis and pushed many people further into poverty.

Mortality rates for both children and mothers are among the world’s highest. This is due to a number of factors, including a lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, poor nutrition, limited access to quality healthcare, and the prevalence of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C).

In 2017, the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, was struck by a major flood and mudslide disaster that killed over 500 people and left thousands of homes destroyed. This highlighted Sierra Leone’s vulnerability, and it is now rated by the UN as among the highest at-risk countries for natural disasters in the world.

The coronavirus pandemic has increased poverty in the country as businesses have been forced to close due to restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

Beach scene in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Credit: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

Our work in Sierra Leone

Tearfund is currently working in Sierra Leone through three local partner organisations  who are working in remote rural communities. The focus is on training and equipping community members to lead development projects so that they have ownership over the process.

Ebola and coronavirus response

Tearfund and our local partners reached over one million people during a two-year emergency response across Sierra Leone and Liberia following the Ebola epidemic. The influence that faith leaders had in encouraging their communities to change social habits had a significant impact on curbing the spread of the disease.

Since 2020, Tearfund has also been working with our local partners in the fight against coronavirus, providing hand washing kits and food support to communities.

Church and Community Transformation

Tearfund is building its church and community transformation work throughout Sierra Leone. Our long-term aim is to see thousands of people’s lives transformed and communities thriving in an environment of love, peace, justice and dignity. We do this by partnering with local churches and equipping them to lead development projects in their communities.

Supporting and protecting women

Through our local partners, Tearfund is also running a project to help improve the health of pregnant women and their partners and their unborn babies. We are challenging the cultural norms that lead to sexual and gender-based violence and raising awareness on the dangers of female genital mutilation/cutting.

Detail of a villager’s hands collecting water at village pump. Credit: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

Please pray for Sierra Leone

    • Pray for God's protection over Tearfund staff and our partners as they work in remote and isolated areas.
    • Pray against natural disasters like flooding and mudslides.
    • Pray for the success of our church and community transformation work – ask that more people will be equipped to lift themselves out of poverty.

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