Friday, June 24, 2011

A Look at Your Sponsored Child's World

Who are the People?

Sierra Leone is a mosaic of ethnic tribes. Nine of every ten people are descendents of tribes native to Africa. The remaining 10 % are descendents of freed slaves called "Creoles."

The capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, was established by Creoles in the late 1700's. The Creoles spoke a derivitave of English called Krio, which continues to be the common language throughout the country today. Only a small minority of Sierra Leoneans speak the country's official language, English.

Most of the population lives in rural farming communities. Sierra Leone dwellings are genrally mud huts with dirt floors and thatched roofs.

Sierra Leone has one of the lowest average incomes in the world. Nearly 75% of the population lives on less than $2 a day, with over half the population living on less than $1 a day. Most families do not have sufficient resources to purchase essential items.

Approximately two-thirds of the population depends on subsistence faming for survival. A typical family's  diet consists of rice, cassave root, and leafy vegetables. They grow barely enough food to feed their families; half of the population is chronically undernourished.

Access to health care is severely limited, especially in rural areas. Sierra Leone also has a high maternal mortality rate: one of every 50 births results in the mother's death.

Country Comparisons

Population- Sierra Leone: 5.3 Million. United States: 295.4 Million

Land Mass- Sierra Leone: 74,132 squre miles. United States: 3,537,439 square miles.

Life Expectancy- Sierra Leone: 41 Years. United States: 78 Years

Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000)- Sierra Leone: 165. United States: 7.

Literacy Rate- Sierra Leone: 30%. United States: 97%.

Primary School Enrollment- Sierra Leone: 41%. United States: 100%.

Access to Safe Water- Sierra Leone: 57%. United States: 100%.

Avg. Annual Income Per Capita- Sierra Leone: $200. United States: $41,400.

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