volunteering or visiting Sierra Leone
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 10, 2013 11:37 PM Last Post By: chan_kawing
Aug 30, 2011 6:34 AM
volunteering or visiting Sierra LeoneHi again everyone. Just want to tell you that Sierra Leone, although had been in a more than a decade of civil war, is very safe now for tourist. The people are picking up the pieces form the ruins of war and mending the wounds inured from the unfortunate and senseless war. Having said that, Sierra Leone has come a long way with regards to implementing Western democratic principles. The country now hosts the West African division of the international Court and have elected a stable functional government within the democratic principles. Sierra Leone is one of Africa's leading countries in human rights awareness. Today the country is free from tribal violence and engaged in the development of her infrastructure all over the country. The country is one of the best with regards to tourist resorts.
I was really impressed to see that they have European standard paved roads from the Capital Freetown to the countryside. While serving my term as a volunteer, I had the opportunity to drive to 2 of the most important cities Bo and Makeni in the provinces.
I know many Westerners still have the horrible view of Sierra Leone that developed from the cruel civil war that took place some years ago but that picture is now changing to a more positive view of the country today. Just wanted to point this out to anyone who is interested in visiting Sierra Leone. It is safe for your single women to travel alone to and into the country. Please look at mylink of photos during my assignment in Freetown, Sierra Leone. http://www.flickr.com/photos/62374555@N04/. Contact me if you are interested in volunteering or visiting Sierra Leone. We have a network of contacts to assist you.
Aug 30, 2011 1:25 PM
I came back from five weeks in Sierra Leone feeling pretty evangelical about getting people to visit. Beautiful scenery, astoundingly friendly people, a clear sense of safety, and commonly spoken English make it very attractive destination. Go now, and you!ll get the feeling ao having the place to yourself. I only saw one other tourist the entire time I was there.
Aug 31, 2011 1:32 AM
2I went to Sierra Leone last year and enjoyed it, in part because of the lack of tourists meant that the people did not have a negative approach to tourism. I wasn't hassled by prostitutes or scam artists or fake guides. Once the tourists come in large numbers that will surely change. I see it all the time where I live (Senegal). I'm not saying that tourism is always bad--I am a tourist myself--but I would hate to go back to the same beaches in Sierra Leone in a few years time and find the young men and women harassing me about drugs or sex or whatever else instead of welcoming me like last year. I think it's ok to encourage tourism but I wish there were some way to attract responsible tourists so that it doesn't become like Senegal and Gambia where hustle and hassle is the norm at many beaches.
Sierra Leone's climate does help in that regard, given that the time of mass tourism (June-August) is the also rainy season and not likely to attract big busloads of tourists.
Aug 31, 2011 5:34 AM
3I totally agree with you about the attitude of the locals to tourists. My aim is to promote a kind of volunteering tourism. That is mixing tourism with volunteering. That way, you become a great help to the people and improving the situation in the country. When you volunteer giving valuable services to some charitable organization in the country, there is less risk that the local people will come to harass you. You will also be protected by the organization that you work with and feel a great sense of value to improve the situation of the people. When I volunteered in Freetown with a charitable organization, I came very close to the people and find that working with them gave me a sense of responsibility. When I go to the beach, I take a group of the people from the project with me. I came back satisfied that I really made an effort to better the lives of the people instead of just enjoying myself. This is the kind of tourism that Africa needs today.
Aug 31, 2011 2:38 PM
4My name is Pananya. You can call me Penny. I am an international student from Thailand; now I am in Felician College in New Jersey, USA. I am interested in volunteering abroad next summer (Approx 3 months). I have to come back to school in USA after that. I don't mind paying for the plane ticket. I want the accomodation, room and meal. My past volunteering experiences are in Israel, Haiti and Ecuador.
I attach my resume for your consideration. Let me know if you need more information.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sep 7, 2011 9:51 AM
5I agree with you neighbour 007. Sierra Leone is one of if not the most beautiful country I have ever visited. It is great that people are starting to travel back their and we at The Collective are trying to make it as easy as possible for them. Have a look at our new website http://thecollectivesl.co.uk/, we are the first organisation to specialise in the country and have some great projects to offer. I look forward to welcoming people to the country.
Oct 26, 2012 1:07 PM
I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 80's and am planning to visit Sierra Leone with my two adult children this Christmas vacation. My daughter will be coming from Provence (she is studying there for a year) and my son and I will be arriving from the states. My children have expressed an interest in staying on for a month after I leave (2 weeks) and doing some volunteer work. Their interest is with animals, and I was wondering if you knew of any programs in Sierra Leone where this may be possible. I can not express how incredibly excited I am to return to Salone. I do not thinkn a day goes by where I do not think about it.
Nov 26, 2012 12:02 AM
7Sierra Leone is a great country with huge potential - I have thoroughly enjoyed my volunteering experience back in 2009 and most of the time I have felt very safe, despite I live in the very remote countryside.
One big set back though - is the corruption from the officials. Only if officials and the administration can stop harassing foreigners for bribes Sierra Leone would have been perfect as another off the beaten track destination in West Africa.
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