Sierra Leone

History, people facts, and more!

History of Sierra Leone

The story of Sierra Leone starts all the way back in the 1780's, a British philanthropist, who went by the name of Granville Sharp, thought that Sierra Leone would be a good place for freed slaves to dwell. Freed slaves from Nova Scotia and settled in the town of Freetown, now the capital of Sierra Leone. The British took care of the settlement to carry on their campaign against slave trade. In a 50 year time period, 50,000 slaves were captured by the British navy and were redirected to Freetown. And the British rule over Sierra Leone lasted until 1961. 30 years after the rule of the British was banished, in 1991 a civil war broke out and the country was fighting against RUF (Revolutionary United Front). The RUF attack villages across the eastern Liberian border. The president of Sierra Leone declared that the civil war was over. But, this was after tens of thousands were killed and a third of the population was already displaced. School closures, widespread poverty, and ransacked hospitals and clinics were a result of the long-lasting civil war. Since the civil war has ended, Sierra Leone has tried their best to regain democracy. But as they are only 180 out of 187 on the Human Development Index (HDI) they have exceed great growth. Just recently, in 2012 Sierra Leone has held democratic elections with the UN supervising them. The new and improved government hopes to create more jobs and to end the corruption that had ruined their country years ago.

Fun Facts about Sierra Leone

  • Did you know that the origin of Sierra Leone, "Serra Leoa", means "Lion Mountain Range" in Portuguese?
  • Titanium, bauxite, iron and gold is plentiful in the landscapes of Sierra Leone
  • "The Star of Sierra Leone" is the name of the 3rd largest diamond found in the world in 1972

The Free Health Care Iniative

In 2010 Sierra Leone's government put into effect an initiative that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and children under 5 years old would have free healthcare provided. Concern is a group that works with the government to help improve medical facilities, trains Community Health Workers to assist women to health facilities and to educate women on how to care for their child after pregnancy and how to take care of themselves and the child during pregnancy

Mariama's Story

Mariama is a member of one the pregnant women clubs in Sierra Leone. She was one of many mothers who were educated on what to expect during childbirth, the common problems during childbirth, and the risks after childbirth. She now knows not to give her baby water, but to breastfeed because the educators taught her the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby.