ABOUT THE COUNTRY
With a recent history of insecurity and civil strife, Sierra Leone has the highest under-five mortality rate in the world. Poverty is a major problem, with over 70% of people living below the poverty line and an extremely large income gap existing between the rich and the poor. An eleven-year civil war and poverty have caused health and education challenges in the labor force. Over 60% of Sierra Leoneans live on less than $1 per day. The war destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and has left its permanent scars, most notably on the children—leaving more than 340,000 children orphaned.
Our Local Heroes, Garnett and Dorothea, have been working with orphans since 1992. They currently run a ministry serving orphans living in a Transitional Home and an associated Christian School with over 100 students enrolled. Space and resources are limited. In fact, almost every teacher at the school has taken at least one orphan into their home. This has been a great testimony to their community which contains a mixed animistic and Muslim population. The school has also opened up incredible opportunities to reach out into the community with feeding programs and occasions to equip kids to live for God and love others. After recently coming out of the terrible scourge of Ebola, we’re thankful for the opportunity to help walk with and relieve some of the community’s past and present burdens.
Meet the Kids
MEET OUR LOCAL HERO
Garnett and Dorothea Thomas have worked in children’s ministry since the mid-1980s. In 1992, they opened El Shaddai Orphanage, and since then have seen hundreds of children touched with the love of Jesus. God has risen up some of those children to places of leadership in Sierra Leone. Their hope is to be able to continue to raise up children to live for God and love others.