News: Sierra Leone

Making Palm Oil in Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
Musu shows off the palm nuts he helped pick
Mar 28, 2014 -

In Sierra Leone, everyone cooks from scratch. And when I say from scratch, I mean, from scratch. Every ingredient has to be made by hand—including oil. 

So a common way to spend the afternoon in a village in Sierra Leone is picking and sorting palm nuts, then embarking on the long process of making them into oil. 

The whole thing takes about two hours, and it's an activity that many of your sponsored children regularly participate in. Here's what it looks like: 

Learning to Read in Sixth Grade Sierra Leone
Individualized attention is sometimes all these students need to catch up
Mar 20, 2014 -

Alieu had somehow made it to sixth grade without ever learning to read. He started school late, as many children in Sierra Leone do because their parents cannot afford school fees. By the time he was given the opportunity to attend Children of the Nations' school through COTN's child sponsorship program, it was hard for him to catch on.

The Only Deaf Boy in the Village Sierra Leone
Mar 14, 2014 -

Alhaji and Mohamed sit in the resource library, waiting for their bus back to school. They wait silently, but every once in a while, when one of them has something to say, he signs to the other and smiles.

Their Long Walk to School Sierra Leone
Mar 11, 2014 -

For Duramany and Mikailu, getting to school is quite a committment. They leave the village of Mokpangumba in Sierra Leone just after dawn to cross a river in a dugout canoe, then walk for about an hour through jungle and farmland to reach the Children of the Nations (COTN) junior secondary school in time for class.

When You Educate the Girl Child, You Educate the Whole Nation Sierra Leone
Mar 4, 2014 -

If it was not for you, Mariatu would have ended her education years ago. She began school when she was seven years old, but it was a challenge for her parents to find the money to send her. "My parents found it difficult to enroll me at school," she says.  

Joining My Sponsored Child's Family, Two Socks at a Time Sierra Leone
Me with my sponsored child, Titus
Feb 25, 2014 -

“Aunty, let me launder your socks.”

“Oh Titus, don’t worry, they are fine. See! I did not wet them.”

A serious, earnest look from the boy in front of me, then we quietly go back to rinsing dishes in front of his wood and mud house. I steal a glance at the head bent over our plastic bowl of murky, sudsy water.

Ten Minutes With Our New Sierra Leone Country Director Sierra Leone
Seeing Precious, who was homeless on the streets of Freetown before she came to
Feb 19, 2014 -

Every COTN staff member has a story about how God brought them to serve in this ministry. COTN–Sierra Leone's new country director is no exception. Mr. Sahr Yambasu sat down with me and my Venture Team one evening in Sierra Leone and answered some of our questions about his ministry and vision. 

Recipes from Africa: Groundnut Stew Sierra Leone
Groundnut stew ingredients
Feb 10, 2014 -

Ever wonder what your sponsored child eats every day? If your child is from Sierra Leone, chances are this rich, fragrant peanut stew is part of their staple diet. Peanuts—or groundnuts, as they call them—are a major crop for small farmers in Sierra Leone. They are also a great source of protein!

Three Surprises Meeting My Sponsored Child Sierra Leone
Feb 3, 2014 -

I work for Children of the Nations, so I thought I knew what to expect when I went to meet my sponsored child. I've answered tons of questions about child sponsorship, written countless appeals for letters and love, and put together several stories about sponsors meeting their kids. But when the day came for me to actually meet my sponsored child, there were a lot of things that surprised me. Here's what I wasn't expecting:

Empowering African Girls Through Soccer Sierra Leone
 Massah (right) runs for the ball during a camp tournament.
Jan 28, 2014 -

The sun has just gone down as Josie Graybeal and her Venture Team arrive at the Children of the Nations ministry center in Sierra Leone. A little ways off, in the dusk, you can just make out a group of the white jerseys—Seattle Pacific University uniforms—that Josie brought last year. In the center, beaming and proud, are twenty-six African girls. Flanked by the boys' team, they perform a short "soccer" dance, jumping and slapping their feet like calisthenics. Then they break out into song, welcoming their inspiration back.