Sierra Leone 2017
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, still trying to heal the scars of a brutal 10-year civil war which ended in 2002, leaving the country with a serious lack of infrastructure and overwhelming poverty. In 2014, it saw its already extremely fragile healthcare system collapse even further when it was struck by Ebola, causing a large number of international aid organisations to leave.
We travelled to Sierra Leone in October where we distributed 117 wheelchairs. Many of our beneficiaries had been disabled as a result of disease and lack of adequate care, but many others are still a living reminder of the cruelty of the civil war, in which amputation was a signature atrocity. We met Lamin, a 40-year-old local, who lost his leg during the war. He is now a member of an amputee football team, many of whom we gave wheelchairs to, and was delighted with his new chair, which will allow him to travel longer distances and farm vegetables to support his wife and five children.