About 'Journey with Sierra Leone'

Objective:  To raise awareness and provide hope to the people of Sierra Leone, who are struggling with poverty and hunger.

With support from the community, many our goals have been realized, with some being an ongoing mission.  'The goal is to address poverty and hunger by sending a container to Sierra Leone as soon as possible by:
  • Raising funds to pay for the shipment of the container to Sierra Leone ... Almost done .... The shipment has been distributed to needy areas and groups within Sierra Leone. There are still some expenses to be addressed due to unanticipated docking fees in Sierra Leone. 
  • Raising funds to send Desmond Harding (and family!) to Sierra Leone to receive the container and to disperse items and to assure fair distribution ... Done.  Desmond, Mary and the children are in Sierra Leone at this time 
  • In progress!  Befriending its people and sharing of our material resources
  • In progress!  Exploring long term goals such as partnering with MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) and MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Association)
Our Mission 
Journey with Sierra Leone, the beginning.  As readers of this site may be aware, an Ebola epidemic took hold in Sierra Leone as well as in adjacent countries. Sierra Leone is a country which has experienced poverty and hunger and now more than ever, living conditions are an incredible struggle even though in 2016, the Ebola crisis was brought under control.  

Sierra Leone is a place rich in culture and the potential to overcome and prosper. Having a lovely family from the Sierra Leone area (Desmond and Mary Harding and their two children) as residents of Oxford County, Ontario provides us with the unique opportunity to learn more about Sierra Leone and its people. 

We will continue to learn more about Sierra Leone through our own experiences, but also those of the Desmond family as they share with us feedback about their trip back to Sierra Leone over the late fall, winter and early spring of 2016. (See tab re. Events in Sierra Leone).

The Hardings have helped us to appreciate that the world is a lot smaller than we sometimes imagine, and that with modern communications as well as the efforts of many, help may be just a 'journey' away.  Hearing firsthand stories about life in Sierra Leone from Desmond and Mary have served as an inspiration to 'take action' in a meaningful and community-minded way. That seed of an idea (to fill a container and send it to Sierra Leone) continues to grow and we hope it will blossom into a community wide and even Canada wide mission of support.

Media coverage of the Ebola epidemic and other challenges faced by those living in Sierra Leone served as a motivator, but there is also the risk of it demotivating people if all they hear is information about the Ebola crisis rather than the bigger picture.  So, we decided to 'take action' while also providing a positive message.  How that will come to fruition will continue to develop with the ideas, energy and contributions of many.

A second step was deciding on a name that really resonates with our goals.  Real change and support comes about by working with others both within and across communities on Canadian soil (and elsewhere!) but also by working with contacts in Sierra Leone. Therefore it made sense to choose a message that reminds us that cooperation is key. 

A little about Sierra Leone:  Sometimes, in the middle of a crisis, it is easy to forget that there was life before the crisis, and hope for after the crisis.  The following link takes to you a page that talks about the interesting culture and heritage of Sierra Leone.

Welcome to Sierra Leone 

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Journey with Sierra Leone - YouTube