“I just need something to eat tonight. That’s why I’m out here.”
Her name was Yemea and she was prostituting herself simply to eat for the evening.
We approached her as she stood in a group with 3 other girls who were there for the same reason. They were friendly and open to all our questions as we stood on the side of the road that paralleled the beach in the capital city of Freetown. Seagulls flew overhead and fishermen pulled their lines in for the day. The sun threw pink and blue rays into the evening sky. The girls seemed hungry for friendship.
They told us how they survived from day to day, living in friend’s shacks and coming out every evening as “Women of the Night” as prostitutes are called in Sierra Leone. This west African nation earned it’s badge of honor as being the setting for the movie “Blood Diamonds”—the true story of the Sierra Leone’s 10 year civil war. Each of these girls vividly remembered the war and were now living in it’s consequences as the war ended their education and killed many of their family members. So now with no family support system and little education, they did the only thing they could think of: stood on the streets every night looking for a man to pay them $2 - $3 for their services which would buy them a meal for the day. It was a sad existence.
Our African No Boundaries International team told them about how Jesus loved them, didn’t condemn them and had something better for their lives. Our Sierra Leonean pastor then sat down with his guitar and taught them praise songs to the One who loved them. Several of them cried. It was the first time in a very long while that someone paid attention to them just for who they were.
Our group went there for several evenings in a row and established strong friendships with the girls. Some stated that since our first encounter with them, they had stopped working the streets and were trying to think of different ways to earn a living.
Our African staff bonded well with these girls and others like them. This outreach was just one of the ways that our African NBI staff was making a difference in this poor country that continually hovered among the last three listed in the UN Human Development Index as being one of the worst places to live in the world.
If you would like to know more about NBI’s work in this west African country, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Leone, West Africa