Campell Town is one of the many deprived communities in Waterloo, a major trading point in the Western Rural District of Sierra Leone. The community is served by only one stream for drinking water and other purposes. The stream is not easily accessible. There are no constructed roads or electricity in the community. During one of my many field visits to the community to assess school progress of the project beneficiaries residing in the community, I met Sahr Menjoh sleeping beside a basket of leafy vegetables on a bushy path leading to a nearby garden. I woke him up to ask if he was sick. He replied: “No, I am hungry and tired. Since yesterday my mum gave me only a piece of cake to eat. Today we went together to her garden and harvested these potato leaves which I am going to sell and use the money to buy two cups of rice and other ingredients needed to cook a meal for us. “
Sahr is a nine-year-old boy who lost his father at the age of three during the 2014 Ebola epidemic outbreak in Sierra leone that resulted in the loss of nearly 4,000 lives. After the death of his father, life became very difficult for the family. Relatives of his late father stigmatized his mother Neaka and later drove her from the house where they all resided. His mother could not take him along due to lack of a livelihood. An Uncle of Sahr adopted him, but was not able to pay school fees and buy other learning materials for him; so he dropped out of school.
Sahr was later identified and enrolled in school by the SLWT project in November 2014 but unfortunately the uncle who adopted him got sick and died in September 2020. Sahr then relocated to his mother in a more deprived settlement within Campbell Town community.