Why We Are Needed
While the war ended over a decade ago, the need for Hands for Africa is vital. The CIA Factbook reports that the literacy rate in Sierra Leone for age 15 or older is 48.1%, while only 2.8% of Sierra Leone’s Gross Domestic Product is spent on education (ranking them 141 in the world). There is little to no government help when it comes to education, and with 70.2% of the estimated population being below the poverty line, most families are not financially capable of providing an education for their children.
The CIA World Factbook states that the “estimated 60% youth unemployment rate is attributed to high levels of illiteracy and unskilled labor” (CIA World Factbook, 2016). Additionally, Sierra Leone’s main industries include agriculture and ore mining. These manual labor jobs dominate the job market, making it hard for the over 10,000 people left as amputees, as a result of the Sierra Leone civil war, to work in these industries. The provision of prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation programs help these survivors to get back into the labor force and provide for their families, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.