Sierra Leone – Orphans, Abused Minors, Street Children, Detainees, Sex-Slaves… The work of the Salesians for Them

Three years ago Sierra Leone was mentioned in the media all over the world as the country where people died of Ebola. “The truth – the Spanish daily ‘El Mundo’ wrote – is that Sierra Leone is sinking into oblivion and only a smaller number of NGOs remain in the zone”. While media and international organizations seem to have forgotten, Salesians did not leave any room to oblivion, abandonment and despair. The Salesian Mission Procure of Madrid and the Sons of Don Bosco continue to help and work to secure a future to children and young people.

by Alberto López

The members of the Salesian Mission Procure of Madrid returned to Sierra Leone, two years after the end of the Ebola epidemic that killed thousands of people and left many orphans. Now the objective is to prove that today more than ever an aid is important and necessary and that the work of the Salesians is more intense just because of the halt the country is suffering from. What was said is true: Sierra Leone lives on!

This is a country where those who reach 50 years of age are considered survivors, elderly, with a low life expectancy. It is a country where a cruel civil war left its mark on several generations. It is a country where 75% of the population is below 25 years of age.

However, Salesians have not lost faith, nor hope, nor even less love for their neighbour: poor and vulnerable young people.

With the sole aim of providing visibility to the missionary commitment and the frontier work among vulnerable young people, a documentary film is being prepared on the work the Salesians do for vulnerable children and young girls, for those who are detained in jails for grown-ups in Pademba Road with no one objecting for this nor doing anything for them, and for minors who are victims of prostitution in the streets.

The Salesians accompany all these boys and girls, providing them sanitary assistance and the possibility of studying, guaranteeing all their rights and to help them regain their freedom.

Africa grabs you, and we want to try and narrate whatever to the superficial eyes of the developed world is considered poverty and misery, but which encloses great lessons ofresilience, hope and humanity, even though in many cases these are truly difficult situations”.

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