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Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief Fund

by the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving
Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief Fund
Photo from Develop Africa
Photo from Develop Africa

When deadly mudslides devastated Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown in August of 2017, thousands lost their lives and even more lost their loved ones, their homes, or all their possessions. Demand for the most basic resources was high, but you responded. With your support, our nonprofit partners were immediately able to begin relief efforts, providing housing, hygiene kits, counseling, and more. Here is a brief update on what your generosity has helped accomplish:

  • Working with flood victims in Freetown, Develop Africa continues to help families who lost their homes in the mudslides through reconstruction projects. They also are providing school supplies to kids in affected areas, and they are planning additional scholarships and vocational training assistance.
  • ChildHelp Sierra Leone holds children as their priority, assisting 93 children with emergency support in the form of food, education, health, and housing facilities. They’re planning income-generating activities, like farm trainings, for parents and caregivers so they’ll be able to meet the needs of their children as recovery continues.
  • The WeOwnTV team of local filmmakers has been working in Sierra Leone to follow the individual stories of people who were directly affected by the mudslide. The goal of their project is to share the stories of the afflicted as well as educate both the general population and government about the need for sensible urban planning and respect for the environment.
  • Street Child continues to provide emergency food, water, clothing, blankets, and trauma counseling. Their team has provided more than 85,000 meals to flood victims and their families, and they are also working to bring now-orphaned children back to school.
  • Following the mudslides, IsraAID started providing psychosocial support to the most affected community members, as they grieved the loss of loved ones and their homes. They also set up water, sanitation and hygiene measures and distributed hygiene kits to meet people’s most basic health needs.

All this and more has been possible because of the support you provided. We are now closing this fund, but if you are interested in continuing to support Sierra Leone going forward, check out these projects on GlobalGiving.

Thank you for your support of community-led Sierra Leone mudslide relief efforts!

Sonja + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from WeOwnTV
Photo from WeOwnTV
Photo from Advocacy Initiative for Development
Photo from Advocacy Initiative for Development

On August 14, 2017, deadly floods and mudslides swept through Sierra Leone’s capital city Freetown, killing more than 1,000 people and devastating the city’s outskirts, where thousands were left homeless. The need for basic necessities and relief services was high, but more than 1,300 of you responded, raising more than $120,000 so far to support our vetted, local partners helping those in need. Today I’d like to share updates from three of those partners about the progress they’ve made since August.

The mudslides left many young people in Freetown at higher risk of unemployment, sexual exploitation, and hunger and left many families lacking the most basic necessities. Advocacy Initiative for Development (AID) mobilized to address community needs, from food to psychosocial support and family counseling. To date,  AID has served 225 households comprising 806 affected people, provided counseling services to survivors and victims, and advocated for safe hygiene practices especially for displaced victims living in camps.

By listening to the heart-wrenching stories of survivors in individual and group counseling sessions, Develop Africa is helping Sierra Leoneans cope with the trauma of surviving a natural disaster. Beyond these psychosocial services, Develop Africa is helping survivors reintegrate into their community by connecting them to business and vocational opportunities, and helping families get back into homes with rental assistance.

For families who lost nearly everything, Touch the Nations stepped in to fill in the gaps and provide basic necessities. Since the tragedy, they have been able to provide food and emergency relief supplies to those affected.  

Thank you for helping mudslide survivors in Sierra Leone—your continued support makes the vital work of our partners possible. We’ll continue to share updates on the continuing recovery efforts over the weeks and months to come.

Sonja + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Develop Africa
Photo from Develop Africa
Photo from Touch the Nations
Photo from Touch the Nations
Photo by Street Child
Photo by Street Child

"In nearly a decade of working on humanitarian response I've never witnessed anything so tragic. I saw children clambering over the rubble and mud, desperately calling for their parents. So many people were trapped, trying to reach their loved ones. The landslide is huge in scale... It rolled across three communities, burying everything in its path, destroying homes... leaving them with nothing."

That's how Zynab Kamara from ActionAID, one of the nine GlobalGiving partners responding to this month's devastating mudslides and flooding in Sierra Leone, describes the scene in Freetown, the country's capital and home to more than one million people.

According to government sources, this disaster has already claimed more than 500 lives, left more than 3,000 residents homeless, and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

After a disaster of this scale, it's crucial to get funds to the organizations assisting survivors as quickly as possible. We've already delivered funds to seven of our partners on the ground in Sierra Leone. Your donation has already supported the following efforts:

  • All As One operates a children's center in an area hard-hit by the mudslides and flooding, and from that location they're distributing food and emergency supplies and providing shelter to families who've been forced to flee their homes.
  • Develop Africa is providing food, clean water, fuel, and hygiene products to survivors, and shelter to families left homeless.
  • Touch the Nations is supplying survivors with food, clean water, clothing, medical care, and temporary housing.
  • Advocacy Initiative for Development is supplying survivors with food, water, medicine, clothing, and shelter, as well as ensuring that children in Freetown will be able to return to their studies when schools reopen in September by providing them with books, uniforms, and school fees.
  • Street Child is focusing on providing food, shelter, and water, and setting the stage for helping children return to school and assisting families in rebuilding their livelihoods after the disaster.
  • ActionAID is delivering food and basic supply kits to the most vulnerable people affected, prioritizing women and children.
  • IsraAID is delivering psychological first aid to Sierra Leoneans who are visibly in distress as they deal with the destruction and loss of life surrounding them.

As these immediate relief efforts transition into long-term recovery work, we'll continue to keep you updated on the progress being made and the impact of your donation in the months to come.

Thank you for standing with the people of Sierra Leone in their time of need.


Britt Lake + the GlobalGiving team

Photo by Advocacy Initiative for Development
Photo by Advocacy Initiative for Development
Photo by Touch the Nations
Photo by Touch the Nations

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