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Young Life Sierra Leone

Young people of Sierra Leone are being reached.

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 had 159 ministries in Sierra Leone in 2022. The outbreak didn’t stop the Lord’s work!

In 2022, leaders knew 42,743 teens by name in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone

  • Population: 7,959,150
  • Main languages: English, Krio
  • Kids Known by Name: 42,743

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.” In 2002, Britain and the United Nations led a peacekeeping mission to end this. In Sierra Leone, an extremely poor country, nearly half the working-age population engage in agriculture. Forty-eight percent 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, taking the lives of nearly 4,000 people 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 2022 Young Life leaders knew almost 43,000 kids by name in Sierra Leone and they continue to introduce kids to Jesus. On average, over 7,200 kids attend club in their communities each week, and over 2,300 of those kids are involved in Bible studies to continue growing in their faith.

Our impact

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Growth (2022)
Kids Known by Name 17,512
8,887
42,743 381%
Avg. Kids at Clubs 16,788 22,216 23,484
5,156
7,227 40%
Avg. Kids in Campaigners 2,818 3,413 4,540
1,908
2,336 22%
Number of Ministries 68 100 115
137
159 16%
National Staff 10 13 14
16
18 13%
DGL 11 11 12 13 10 -23%
Kids & Leaders to Camp 2,345 4,714 3,203 6,423 7,469 14%

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 leaders knew almost 43,000 kids by name in Sierra Leone, and continues to introduce kids to Jesus…many of these kids end up accepting and following the Lord! On average, over 7,200 kids attend club in their communities each week, and over 2,300 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.

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