The West African nation of Sierra Leone was devastated by a brutal war marked by the struggle for blood diamonds and widespread atrocities. Today there is peace and a new focus on controlling malaria, malnutrition and a devastatingly high child mortality rate. The Bay Area is contributing to that effort by training physicians, spearheading ground breaking research, and contributing to the well-being of children and their communities.
FULL SHOW: Watch the entire special here
A nation emerging from war -- new hope for mothers and children
Sierra Leone is a nation still emerging from the shadows of a 10-year civil war that devastated the country and its people. Communities are now rebuilding, thanks in large part to the efforts of concerned people from around the world, including here in the Bay Area. Improving maternal and children's health has been a major challenge. Sierra Leone is still one of the deadliest places in the world for a woman to give birth, and the mortality rate among children under 5 is also among the highest. But there is hope and change to report.
Segment 1 (00:00 - 08:32)
In a country rich with rivers and rainfall, it is surprising to learn clean water is such a challenge. Thanks to aid organizations like World Vision, safe water is reaching villages that used to be plagued by water-born disease and illness. Villagers are now learning what it takes to keep that water clean, and make their communities healthier.
Segment 2 (08:32 - 12:10)
From fighting malaria to empowering women
Malaria, a problem that is particularly severe among children, is the leading cause of death in Sierra Leone. Research that began in the Bay Area is offering new hopes for treatment. Also, women are rising to the challenge of rebuilding their lives and their communities. You'll see a project launched by women that is providing economic stability for themselves, their families and beyond.
Segment 3 (12:10 - 18:40)
Sponsoring a child, changing a community
More than a hundred people in the Bay Area have committed to making a difference by sponsoring children in Sierra Leone through World Vision. The $35 they invest each month helps not only that one child, but lifts an entire community.
Segment 4 (18:40 - 22:56)
Today, though peace has returned,The West African nation of Sierra Leone struggles to control malaria, malnutrition, and a child mortality rate that is still one of the highest in the world.
There is still much work ahead, and the Bay Area is deeply involved. Families here sponsor children, with aid that can help transform entire villages. ABC News launched a campaign called the Million Mom's Challenge. Its goal is to connect millions here with millions of mothers in developing countries. With the help of humanitarian groups like World Vision, organizers are hoping to spark profound and lasting changes in the lives of women and children in countries like Sierra Leone.