One of our top contenders for the warmest, friendliest nation of people, Sierra Leone is a truly fantastic country to live and work in. Bumpy car rides, lush jungle and booming Afrobeatz make up the typical data collection road trip with Street Child.
In 2008, Street Child was launched in Sierra Leone and since then our local team has grown to over 400 social workers, educators, finance officers, business mentors and Directors. As a Street Child International Volunteer, you will be working closely alongside these teams in rural or urban areas, supporting their work where your skills are most needed, whether it be in research, enterprise, communications or teacher training.
Our work began with a small handful of 100 street children, connecting them to families and supporting them to go to school. We quickly expanded our programmes to include all children who were unable to access education because of poverty, a lack of schools, losing their parents or simply being a girl.
Whether we’re supporting children orphaned by a crisis like Ebola, or helping girls to go to school, we focus on really understanding the problem and delivering long-term solutions. We help some of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone: street children, children in rural communities, children in poverty, girls and children impacted by crisis.
How you can make an impact.
Our local teams in Sierra Leone are experts in their field, and so you will be well placed to gain a deep understanding of our programmes. As a volunteer you will be adding capacity to their teams, supporting in areas where they are in need of extra manpower, and where your skills and experience can be utilised to help our projects continue to develop and grow. Monitoring and evaluation, communications, community assessments and social enterprise, are just a few of the ways our volunteers can provide support on to our programmes team on the ground.
Capital City: Freetown
Population: 7.4 Million
Language: Krio (pigeon English) & English
Climate: Hot & humid year round, with bright sunshine November/December until April, followed by an intense rainy season lasting from May until October.
Food: The typical local dish is rice with fish or chicken stew, and you will often find delicious goat’s meat being grilled over a BBQ in most restaurants or food stalls by the side of the road. For your hit of vitamins, you can head to the fruit and vegetable markets where you can stock up on fresh avocados & mangoes.
Life in Sierra Leone.
There are three volunteer hubs across Sierra Leone in each of the cities: Freetown, Makeni and Bo. Your location will depend upon your preferences, the skills you can offer and which projects are in need of your support at the time of your placement. Street Child’s urban projects and Head Office operate out of Freetown, while our rural education projects are led by the teams in Makeni and Bo.
Wherever you end up living, it’s easy to find adventure in Sierra Leone. Each place has a unique identity, where the local communities welcome volunteers and quickly make them feel at home. Evenings can be spent playing football with the local kids, sampling the different local restaurants, or cooking together at the volunteer house to settle down and watch a film or play cards.
With so much on the doorstep, volunteers spend most weekends out, taking trips to the coast to surf off the white sand beaches, or nights spent in a jungle camp after hiking through a nature reserve. Alternatively, free time can be spent exploring the Freetown, Makeni and Bo, where you can enjoy the buzz of the city markets and night life.
Want to hear from our past volunteers? Click here to read about Harriet’s time as a Research Volunteer in Sierra Leone.
Head over to Street Child’s main website to discover more about our work in Sierra Leone: