October 16:World Food Day

The world observes World Food Day on October 16, F.A.O has launched the campaign “healthy diets for Zero Hunger”. In a world where 820 Million people suffer from hunger and even more are overweight or obese, Sierra Leone is definitely NOT in the favored side of the balance.

Sierra Leone is a tropical country located on the West African bank; the climate is roughly hot all year round with rainy season that lasts for 6 months from May till November. The fundamental part of Sierra Leone food base is stews. They are mainly prepared from cassava leaves, groundnuts, okra, yam and cassava; all grown locally. Palm oil is the essential cooking oil, also produced locally and sometimes imported from neighboring countries. Fish is considered to be the main source of protein harvested by local fishermen, the beef cattle is imported from neighboring countries and overseas.

However, the agricultural sector is constrained by several factors including lack of improved inputs, labor shortages, and post-harvest losses.
Land degradation and deforestation have resulted in declining soil fertility, which in turn has undermined sustainable agricultural development in the country. As a nation relying on rice that main source of carbohydrates, Sierra Leone continues to be in need of external assistance for rice imports and miscellaneous food items.

As the world speed on changing, Sierra Leone is still behind on developing proper access to essential human needs such as food, clean water and healthcare. SSLDF started as a relief organization in the early 00`s providing the people of Sierra Leone with nutritious provisions. Since we were no strangers to the struggles of this impoverished nation and their lack of health support, we inaugurated the Magbenteh Community Hospital in 2006, the cases of malnutrition were severely seen and had to be addressed constantly, after all, Makenie is a rural area that has suffered from the after effects of the war with people residing down to the capital and no labor left for agriculture.

MCH team worked relentlessly on enhancing the status of its community by providing proper medication and follow-through on malnutrition cases especially among children. We have been supported through the times by the generous donation of our partner NGO Action-Swiss Sierra Leone and various overseas foundations.

However, SSLDF didn’t suffice itself to only healing children and adults stricken with malnutrition, it became a duty to eradicate hunger and start working on a prevention mode. So, in 2016, Magbenteh Community Boarding School was established with the intentions of taking care of left-out children, by educating, keeping them safe in boarding, and monitor their growth. The need to make sure each child had access to food on top of education was urgent and important, for those reasons SSLDF launched the school feeding program in 2016 that provides healthy, nutrients packed breakfast and lunch meals for each student within the school for the period of the whole school year. We have managed to fundraise those feeding projects with several NGO entities and continue to do so, we are currently working on the 2020 feeding proposal hoping that our call to eradicate hunger among our beloved children community in Magbenteh is answered. https://youtu.be/GDLNiSmuq5I