Map of Sierra Leone: source; www.google.com
ABOUT SIERRA LEONE
Sierra Leone was a British Colony until April 1961 when she gained independence and subsequently became a Republic in 1971. Since then, Sierra Leone experienced a mixture of democratic, civilian and military dictatorships. Currently, civilian democracy is the political dispensation following the devastating civil war that lasted for 11 years and ended in 2002. The main reasons put forward by the perpetrators of the civil war were lack of social-economic opportunities overall, lack of access by many citizens to what economic life there was, and tyrannical political rule. Sierra Leone is now politically stable and peaceful.
The country, which shares borders with Liberia and Guinea, is located on the west coast of Africa, facing the Atlantic Ocean. It has about 71,640 square kilometres of land and 71,620 square kilometres of water. A large part of the coastline of Sierra Leone consists of mangrove swamps. Freetown, the capital city, is situated on a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.
Sierra Leone is also one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the 2014 Human Development Index Report, Sierra Leone’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.374, which means that the country is in the low human development category, positioning her at 183 out of 187 countries and territories. This state of affairs has therefore brought about various social problems in the country.
Sierra Leone Development Initiatives (SLDI) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation. SLDI is dedicated and committed to the fundamental human rights of vulnerable girls and women in Sierra Leone through the promotion of gender equality and gender equity. SLDI seeks to achieve its objectives by using a two-pronged approach:
a) Direct services to vulnerable girls and women in Bo city, Sierra Leone, focusing primarily on ending all forms of violence against them, access to effective sexual and reproductive health and HIV services, alternative livelihoods and education and skills training that they will unleash their potentials, and become valued citizens in their country.
b) Raising awareness, and campaigning on issues affecting women and girls with a keen focus on inequality, social injustice and human rights, promoting activities to foster understanding between people and gain public support, conduct research and publicising the findings with regards to human rights violations on vulnerable girls and women in Sierra Leone.