About Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone is a small West African country. Torn apart by war from 1991-2002, the country today is working hard to reclaim a hopeful future.

The people are genuinely joyful for every opportunity to improve their circumstances and the lives of their children. Not a moment goes by where visitors don’t see huge smiles, playful natures and faith in a better future.

Throughout the capital of Freetown, construction abounds as the people labor to rebuild a working infrastructure.

In past decades, Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. It also has the third largest natural harbor in the world: located at Freetown’s famous Queen Elizabeth II Quay.

Sierra Leone became a British Crown Colony in 1896.  In 1961, the country gained independence and formed a constitutional republic. English is the official language of government and schools. Krio is spoken widely among Sierra Leoneans of different tribes. The main tribes are Mende, Temne, Limba and Kuranko.

Today it is estimated that 70 percent of six million Sierra Leoneans live in poverty.

Sierra Leoneans who live in villages outside of the main cities seek to hold fast to their traditional culture, including festivals, music, stories and dance.