Sierra Leone


of people do not have access to latrines


was the drop in GDP in 2015 following the Ebola epidemic


of people work in the agricultural sector


of people are without access to clean drinking water

About Sierra Leone

The Ebola epidemic ravaged Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2015. It caused the deaths of over 11,300 people and infected over 28,600 more. Ebola also contributed to a plummet in GDP – this in a nation ranked as the eighth poorest in the world by the UN. Since the epidemic officially ended, the economy has begun a slow upturn. The hope is that this desperately-needed recovery will continue.

Since 2002, Sierra Leone has remained peaceful. However, this is a fragile peace. Youth unemployment, widening political and ethnic divisions, and the little benefit much of the population has seen from the recovery, all threaten stability.

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

On 14 August, 2017, Freetown (the capital) was struck by a major flood and mudslide disaster that killed over 500 people and left thousands of homes buried. 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.

How we do it

Church & Community Transformation

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

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Emergency Response

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Our Work in Sierra Leone

Tearfund recently completed a two-year emergency response across Sierra Leone and Liberia following the Ebola epidemic – working with our in-country partner organisations BCSL and NEHADO.

We also responded to the flood and mudslide disaster through our partners EFSL and BCSL.

Together we made a huge impact by:

  • Providing hygiene kits and fresh water
  • Building boreholes
  • Broadcasting life-saving Ebola prevention messages over the radio
  • Training community and faith leaders in Ebola prevention methods
  • Offering psychosocial support
  • Providing cash grants to over 400 households for immediate food needs and for rebuilding livelihoods
  • Providing training in sustainable farming methods
  • Providing cash to affected households

Over one million people were reached through this response. The influence that faith leaders had in encouraging their communities to change social habits also had a significant impact on curbing the spread of the disease.

In addition to the above, we conducted many interviews in the community so we could learn from the flood and mudslide disaster, and increase preparedness and resilience for the future.

Tearfund is also building its church and community transformation work throughout Sierra Leone, through partners BCSL and NEHADO. Our long-term aim across Sierra Leone and Liberia is to see half a million people transformed physically, socially and spiritually, and thriving in an environment of love, peace, justice and dignity. We aim to do this through the work of our partner organisations in the countries, and 1,200 local churches.




people have been reached through the Ebola emergency response in Sierra Leone and Liberia.


people are being trained in the church and community transformation process.


people received food and nutritional help during the Ebola response.


faith leaders and volunteers have been trained to carry out psychosocial support.

Pray for our work

  • Thank God for our partners in the country and all that they do.
  • Ask that more funding may be found for the work in Liberia.
  • Pray for all those affected by the Ebola epidemic as they work to rebuild their livelihoods.

Where we're working