Young Life Sierra Leone

Reaching the young people of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone faced many challenges due to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Even though outreach and sports camps had to be postponed during the crisis, Young Life staff and leaders prevailed. After restrictions were lifted, Young Life held Ebola Survivor camps in Sierra Leone. Amazingly, Young Life has reached over 171,000 kids in Sierra Leone since 2019. The outbreak didn’t stop the Lord’s work!

As of 2019, 171,402 teens and counting
have been reached in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone

  • Population: 7,959,150
  • Main languages: English, Krio
  • Kids reached by YLA: 171,402

Sierra Leone summary

Historically, Sierra Leone served as the departure point for thousands of West African captives. The capital, Freetown, was founded as a home for repatriated former slaves in 1787. Yet a brutal civil war has marred Sierra Leone’s historical significance, perpetuated by trade in illicit gems known as “blood diamonds.” This ended in 2002 with the help of Britain and a large United Nations peacekeeping mission. Sierra Leone is an extremely poor country, with nearly half the working-age population engaging in agriculture. 48% of the population is under the age of 18. The country is 78% Muslim, making Christians the minority at 20% of the 7.9 million people of Sierra Leone. In 2013, the Ebola virus attacked West Africa, and nearly 4,000 people died in Sierra Leone alone.

Even though outreach and sports camps had to be postponed during the Ebola crisis, Young Life staff and leaders prevailed. After restrictions were lifted, Young Life held Ebola Survivor camps in Sierra Leone. Amazingly, over 5,000 kids and leaders came to camp in 2016. One of those kids was Mustafa, a Muslim Ebola survivor who watched his father, uncle and 29 others in his community die from Ebola. He soon contracted the disease, and despite community resistance, attended the Ebola Treatment Unit, already accepting an inevitable death. However, God kept him alive, and Mustafa believes that God gave him this chance “not only to accept Jesus but to follow Him.” By God’s grace, in 2019 Young Life has reached over 171,000 kids in Sierra Leone and continues to introduce kids to accepting and following Jesus. On average, over 23,400 kids attend club in their communities each week, and over 4,500 of those kids are involved in Bible studies to continue growing in their faith.

Our impact

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Growth (2020)
Avg. Kids at Clubs 3,810 10,044 14,091 16,788 22,216
23,484
6%
Avg. Kids in Campaigners 248 1,530 2,202 2,818 3,413
4,540
33%
Number of Ministries 38 37 48 68 100
115
15%
National Staff 4 7 9 10 13
14
8%
DGL 0 7 8 11 11 12 9%
Kids & Leaders to Camp 325 3,012 5,412 2,345 4,714 0 N/A

Our ministries

One of the 5,000 kids that attended one of our Ebola camps was Mustafa, a Muslim Ebola survivor who watched his father, uncle and 29 others in his community die of Ebola. He soon contracted the disease, and despite community resistance, attended the Ebola Treatment Unit, already accepting an inevitable death. Yet, God kept him alive, and Mustafa believes that God gave him this chance “not only to accept Jesus but to follow Him.”

By God’s grace, Young Life has reached over 171,000 kids in Sierra Leone, and continues to introduce kids to Jesus…many of these kids end up accepting and following the Lord! On average, over 23,400 kids attend club in their communities each week, and over 4,500 of those kids are involved in Bible studies to continue growing their faith.

We had our first ever YoungLives camp in December of 2017. In June of 2018, we were able to locally raise $850 to sponsor 40 teen moms and their babies to attend a day Campaigners camp. With the help of Dyan Larmey, we were able to distribute bibles to both these moms and their children. For most of the teenagers, this was the first time they had handled or owned a bible. We are praying that these young moms will experience Jesus’ love deeply.

Prayer Opportunities

Pray for God to grant His grace and strength to reach the most difficult areas to start new ministries.

Pray for more country and staff sponsorship donors.

Pray for more committed and effective volunteers who have passion for kids and are willing to sacrifice for the ministry.

Pray for more opportunities for DGL and also donors to sponsor the DGL students.

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