Sierra Leone

Stories from change-makers in Sierra Leone

Jeneba Mary Sewanatu
Girl Getting An Education In Sierra Leone Jeneba
Like many others, Jeneba’s school closed down when COVID-19 was confirmed in Sierra Leone.
So, the government rolled out a radio teaching and learning program designed to ensure children still have access to education.

The only problem was that Jeneba didn’t have a radio.

When Plan International began working in her community, the majority of families there couldn’t afford to buy radios for their daughters. The households that already had radios were using them for other purposes — girls weren’t allowed to use them.

Plan was able to provide 25,000 radios to girls in the area. And Jeneba was one of the first to receive one.

“When I finally got the radio, I held onto it and whispered to myself that I will not miss out again,” Jeneba says. “It feels like the teacher is right in front of us.”

Plan has also provided the girls with lessons and leaflets on how to use the radios. Jeneba is planning to teach her younger brother how to use the radio, too.

“My radio is now my best friend,” Jeneba says. “It always keeps me occupied.”
Learn more about our Education work
Sponsored Girl In Sierra Leone Mary
Mary has seen many celebrations of girls becoming women. Guests bring livestock, rice, palm oil, clothes and other gifts.
But during these celebrations, all Mary can think about is how the girls are suffering. Because their passage into womanhood is marked by female genital mutilation (FGM).

Mary never thought it would happen to her. Until one day, visitors starting coming to her house with gifts — she knew she was about to be cut.

She ran four hours away to her grandmother’s house, because she knew her grandmother works with Plan to raise awareness about the harmful effects of FGM.

Since Mary’s parents had already accepted the gifts from the ceremony, they were determined to find Mary and continue with the ceremony. And eventually, they discovered where she was hiding.

But when they brought Mary home, a mediation team from Plan visited them to discuss the consequences of FGM — Mary’s grandmother had asked Plan for help. And because of Plan’s intervention, Mary’s parents agreed to cancel the FGM ceremony and support her education.

Mary is now hopeful for her future and wants to make something of her life.

“She is always top in her class,” Mary’s grandmother says. “I am so glad she will get to live her dreams.”
Learn more about our Maternal & Child Health work
Child Advocacy Member In Sierra Leone Sewantu
When Sewanatu was in school as a young child, one of her classmates was pulled out of school and never came back.
When Sewanatu learned the girl was being forced into child marriage, she wanted to know how she could help. So, she became an activist.

Her father helped her join a child advocacy network, where Sewanatu learned that children — including girls — have the right to be protected.

With support from Plan, Sewanatu mobilized her friends at school to help her advocate against child marriage, teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other protection issues. She hasn’t stopped campaigning since.

And she intends to become a doctor, so that she can help survivors of sexual violence.

“I want to help girls to believe in themselves and to see that there are a lot of opportunities out there for them,” Sewanatu says. “I want them to know that they are smart, they are strong, they are intelligent and they are capable of doing anything that boys can do. I want them to believe in themselves and to keep learning.”
Learn more about our Gender & Youth Equality work

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Sierra Leone since 1976.

Our work in Sierra Leone

Learn about Plan's work in Sierra Leone
Office & operations

Plan Sierra Leone’s country office is located in Freetown, with program unit offices in Port Loko and Moyamba.

Technical areas

Protection, gender equality, advocacy, humanitarian response

Number of sponsored children

As of June 2022, people like you sponsor 16,752 children in Sierra Leone.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor