KROO BAY - A SAVE SIERRA LEONE FOUNDATION POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECT.
In December 2011, two of SSLF's executives - our founder Patricia Thorpe Finney and our International affairs Director, Emma Fofanah made a needs analysis visit to Sierra Leone, a trip that took them to each one of the four provinces in the country. One of the sets of photos that resonated most with me from their subsequent field report was one that depicted the appalling plight and the deplorable overall conditions endured by the children of Kroo Bay. Kroo Bay which was once a small fishing community is today the largest slum in Sierra Leone. It is located in the heart of the capital city in the west end coastline of Freetown. According to an August 14, 2014 AFP news report over 15,000 people are estimated to be living in Kroo Bay, in makeshift shacks under extremely unsanitary conditions. It is an environment rife with poverty and on any given day in Kroo Bay, children can be seen foraging for food in the rubbish alongside pigs and dogs. (See slide show)
Since 2012, through the generosity of private and institutional benefactors, SSLF has been providing food, clothing, school and medical supplies to the children of Kroo Bay. For instance, in June 2014 our humanitarian efforts to the kids in Kroo Bay included the distribution of uniforms donated by St. Mark Catholic School, backpacks containing school supplies donated by students from Frostburg State University (FSU), clothing, furniture and other household goods donated on behalf of "Mama Ruth" from the Clinard family members, Alison, David and Mark and food and medical supplies donated from other private donors. We are extremely grateful to all of them for their generous contribution to the kids and people of Kroo Bay.
The current Ebola emergency in Sierra Leone has a deleterious effect on the country as a whole and it has also caused the greatest hardships on those most vulnerable in the population, children. Our Kroo Bay, project manager Moses Conteh tells us that more awareness and sensitization on Ebola is needed in Kroo Bay especially amongst the children. In fact the AFP report cited above indicates that Freetown slums are the most ill-prepared in Sierra Leone to deal with the current Ebola crisis. We plan to have our in-country SSLF members help with Ebola sensitization campaigns in Kroo Bay and the other slums in Freetown and we anticipate doubling our distribution efforts of food and other basic necessities to Kroo Bay's children as well. We remain grateful to all our benefactors for keeping this lifeline alive.
The pictures shown herein relate to the June 2014 SSLF distribution event in Kroo Bay. Please continue to help us in cash and in kind donations to keep hope alive in Kroo Bay.