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About Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's recent history has been one of turmoil, civil war, and finally, an uncertain peace. Shortly after independence from the British in 1961, a series of military coups created great instability. In 1991, competing rebel forces launched attacks that terrorized the nation, these efforts being largely fueled through illicit diamond trade. This civil war lasted nearly 10 years and resulted in widespread atrocities, namely, the maiming and mutilation of thousands of innocent civilians and the conscription of young people into the army.

These youths, torn from their homes and forced to commit horrible acts under great duress, effectively became Sierra Leone's lost generation. When peace was finally achieved in 2001, these youths were left without families, direction, or hope.

The youths served by iEARN SL range in age from 8 to 18 and older. Some were child soldier conscripts who now are in great need of social, emotional, and practical skills. Others grew up in a hostile, war-torn environment, knowing only poverty, fear, and destitution. Still others languish in the diamond mines, forgoing education for a life of toil. All of these children, however, are the future that Sierra Leone has to depend on, and iEARN SL is committed to preparing this generation for its responsibilities in the years to come.

For more info about Sierra Leone, visit http://www.sierra-leone.org/ and http://www.visitsierraleone.org/

Support art and efforts by the Sierra Leone diaspora at http://www.africanflavas.com/