Kids in Kailahun – since 2006
KIK is a UK registered charity working in the Kailahun district of Sierra Leone, West Africa. The main focus of the charity is an educational sponsorship programme for children who have been orphaned through war or disease.
KIK’s vision is ‘A self-sufficient Kailahun community’. Early engagement with that community indicated that this requires not only education, but also healthcare and community development. This is therefore KIK’s mission.
A major step to delivering on this mission was the 2017 opening of the KIK Academy for children between 3-16 years of age.
Looking ahead, the expected outcomes of our 2018 five year plan are:
- The Academy will still be supported by UK sponsorship.
- KIK financed micro-business ventures will be operating successfully within the Kailahun community.
- KIK will be largely run from Kailahun, with minimal input from the UK.
- KIK beneficiaries will hold many of the teaching and managerial posts within the charity. (Beneficiaries are individuals who have previously benefitted from the KIK programme.)
Sierra Leone - Geography
Situated on the west coast of Africa, with a 2018 population approaching 8 miilion, Sierra Leone is a country with a very varied mix of mangrove swamps, beaches, shallow bays, wooded hills, and a mountainous plateau. Natural resources include diamonds, bauxite, gold, iron ore, and one of the world's largest deposits of rutile (titanium ore), plus sizeable marine and timber resources.
History (mostly from VSL Travel)
In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra gave the country the name 'Serra Leoa' (Lion Mountains), later corrupted to Sierra Leone, and built a fort on the site of Freetown. Then in 1787, British philanthropists founded the “Province of Freedom” which later became Freetown, a British crown colony and the principal base for the suppression of the slave trade. By 1792, 1200 freed slaves from Nova Scotia joined the original settlers, the Maroons. Another group of slaves rebelled in Jamaica and travelled to Freetown in 1800.
Sierra Leone achieved independence in 1961, and attained republican status in 1971.
The 90’s brought successive civil disturbances, culminating in a ghastly RUF rebel war that lasted from 1991 to 2002. The death toll is estimated at 50,000, with 2,000,000 being displaced (britannica.com). A Truth and Reconciliation Committee was set up to help heal the country.
A further hammer blow was the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016, which killed almost 4,000 people and devastated the economy (britannica.com).
Since 2016, Sierra Leone has received substantial international support, bolstering a post-Ebola recovery plan, which has revived the economy to a certain extent. To secure its creditworthiness, the Koroma government of the time reasserted its good working relationship with the IMF (bti-project.org).
Clearly there are no quick fixes for the economy, but an improved road network is helping - tarmac has now reached Kailahun and beyond! Equally, Sierra Leone is becoming recognised as an alternative historical and eco-tourism destination (sierraexpressmedia.com).
What can £7 do?
£7 could pay for a banana or orange tree, and plant the seeds for many more. £15 could buy a pair of chickens, providing food and an income for a vulnerable family. £100 could buy enough seed to plant six acres of rice.
Sponsor a Child
Child sponsorship is at the very heart of KIK. By sponsoring a child, you are giving them every chance to achieve a full education, as well as ensuring that they are well fed and given access to medical treatment.