Liberia is a country in recovery. Civil war and failed government have ravaged its people and economy for over two decades. Over 200,000 people died in the conflict, and many, especially the educated, wealthy elite, fled the country. Some have returned since 2006, when the democratically elected government was sworn in.
Liberians now face the mammoth task of reintegrating 40,000 fighters – 15,000 of which are children – back into society, and restoring their economy to health. It is, however, richly endowed with natural resources, and its climate is very favourable for farming. It is a country full of untapped potential, and yet over 7,000 Liberians die from AIDS each year, and the average life expectancy is only 41 years.
ActionAid is a development charity with a strong commitment to working alongside local people and organisations in order to establish better rights for the world's poorest people, and the provision of basic needs that most in the developed world take for granted. More than that, ActionAid are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and have made education, HIV and AIDS, food, emergencies, women and girls their main priorities.
ActionAid has been working in Liberia since the April war of 1996, and it is currently active in the lives of many thousands off people. Its focus in Liberia is on gender and HIV education, improving governance, youth work, education facilities, resources and training, and emergency response work.
The charity works with families to improve the security of their food supply, and provides credit and savings facilities to help new business start-ups. They also distribute tools and seeds, and provide opportunities for women – who are especially disadvantaged – to make an income.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth expertise in fighting poverty. ActionAid partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not to impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to effect lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Liberia today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit your child and will be able to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings from them, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child through the following trusted agencies: