On the 20th January I will be travelling to Sierra Leone with three fellow CAFOD gappers.
We have just come back from our international and security training and it has hit me that it is not long until we set off for Sierra Leone. I feel so privileged to have this opportunity and to see first-hand the work CAFOD and the partners do on the ground. I am really looking forward to getting to know the partners and the people in the communities, it will be a privilege to hear their stories and be able to share these back in the UK. I hope to become fully immersed in the culture and way of life in Sierra Leone and to walk in solidarity with the people I meet. I am sure this will be an inspiring and eye opening experience.
One of the reasons I am so excited is that I studied International Development at University and I’ve had a passion for international development and social justice since I began to learn more about global issues in secondary school. After learning about so much about development and having the opportunity to visit the UN in my final year it will be incredible to see this first hand. It will be particularly interesting to see the effects of the civil war which ended in 2002, the impact of the Ebola outbreak and the aftermath of the landslide in August this year. Although we may see some things or hear some stories that are difficult, I am looking forward to seeing the progress that has been made and the resilience of the communities.
The partners we will be visiting will include CARITAS in the capital Freetown; KADDRO in Kambia which focuses on resilience to food insecurity and emergency preparedness; Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary who work with water, agriculture, sanitation and hygiene in Bo.