Our work in Sierra Leone

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Our work in Sierra Leone

Concern Worldwide has been working in Sierra Leone since 1996 and currently works in Bo, Tonkolili District and in Freetown/Western Area.

Our integrated programming approach in Sierra Leone aims to tackle all dimensions of poverty, focussing on the overlapping areas of health, education and livelihoods. We are currently responding to the aftermath of mudslides in Freetown which have killed more than 400 people and displaced thousands.

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Ebola outbreak

Since the first case of Ebola in Sierra Leone was confirmed in May 2014, Concern has proactively responded to the outbreak through a range of interventions. While thankfully Sierra Leone has recently been declared Ebola-free, Concern’s emergency preparedness and response efforts will continue until the end of the year.

Family and friends pray over the body of a young boy who died on the night of 31 October 2014 at his home in Banana Water, Freetown. Photo taken by Kieran McConville, Concern Worldwide.

Safe and dignified burials

A key component of our Ebola response has been the management of medical burial teams and sites. This work recently won an award at the inaugural EU Health Awards.

In Freetown, Concern was also instrumental in establishing the Emergency Response Centre, which took calls to the national 117 Ebola hotline and oversaw case management, contact tracing, and control of burials.

Ebola education and health system support

From the very beginning of the Ebola outbreak, Concern provided information and education to the public about protecting themselves from Ebola. Through existing programming, there were a large number of trained community health volunteers available to help spread key messages. We also provided support to the government health system in a variety of ways, including providing protective equipment and supplies, feeding patients in isolation units, and delivering clean water and effective sanitation in treatment centres. In Tonkolili, we also provided training, monitoring and other support including catering for staff and patients and child protection support to thirteen Community Care Centres for people suspected of having Ebola. We also trained health workers in the screening and isolation of potential Ebola cases, and in the use of personal protective equipment.

Memuniatu Kamara with her young child at the Allen Town PHU in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photographer: Michael Duff / Concern Worldwide.

General health and sanitation programmes

In addition to our emergency Ebola work, we are also implementing a range of development projects in Tonkolili and Freetown.  

Working with the Freetown City Council and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Concern is implementing a five-year Child Survival Project with funding from USAID and Irish Aid. This project aims to contribute to a reduction in maternal, infant and child morbidity and mortality in ten slum communities in Freetown. Concern is also a member of the Freetown WASH Consortium II – a DFID-funded project aiming to improve access to water and sanitation services for residents in the Western Area.

In Tonkolili, the Tonkolili Integrated Poverty Reduction Programme is an integrated programme which aims to sustainably improve the resilience and overall welfare of the extreme poor by increasing their assets through improved health, education, skills and income.

Community participants from the Linking Agriculture, Natural Resource Management and Nutrition (LANN) project in Mamankibana Village stand in front of their community garden. Photographer: Michael Duff / Concern Worldwide.

Food and nutrition security

Linking Agriculture, Natural Resource Management and Nutrition (LANN) is a two-year project funded by Irish Aid and implemented in partnership with Welthungerhilfe. LANN seeks to identify successful approaches to promoting food and nutrition security in Sierra Leone and beyond.  The StopRats programme (Sustainable Technology to Overcome Pest Rodents Through Science) is another three-year EU-funded project which aims to reduce the impact of rodents on food security.

A rat corpse is weighed by John R. Turay as part of the STOPRATS project in Rosint Community, Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone. Photographer: Michael Duff / Concern Worldwide.

Community-led management of natural resources

This project is funded by the European Unionand Irish Aid and is being implemented in the Kunike and Kunike Barina chiefdoms in Tonkolili. The specific objective of the project is to pilot tools to help local communities sustainably manage their forest, wetland and hillside agricultural resources in the sub catchments linked to the Kangiri Forest Reserve.

Education support

The Lanin Biznes education project is funded by Irish Aid, the TK Foundation and David Barker. It is implemented in partnership with the local organisation Pikin-to-Pikin in five chiefdoms in Tonkolili District, targeting 28 primary schools. The overall objective of the project is to increase access to, and completion of, quality primary education.

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