Building a Foundation

A Heartbreaking History and Hopeful Future

I feel truly honored to be able to serve with the team at AdvocAid in their efforts in Sierra Leone.  This past week was a transitory week of getting my toes wet with the country of Sierra Leone in general, and its legal structures.  A couple of months ago I could tell you nothing about Sierra Leone other than its general location on a map, and that I had heard of it before - though I likely could not tell you why.  Having spent many hours this last week studying the history of the country, I now remember why I had heard of it (the civil war that occurred there throughout the 1990's) and have an aching heart with all of the pain and suffering the people of Sierra Leone have endured.  I could not tell my wife some of the details and stories I read about because they were so upsetting, and that was merely from reading them.  I cannot personally truly imagine experiencing what the people - and especially the women and girls - of Sierra Leone endured during the civil war especially, but which has effects still being felt and experienced today.

I did receive my first couple of assignments (besides some to help with editing and general to-do's for others projects).  I am to research the interplay between disabilities, commercial sex workers, and mental health with sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).  I have never researched along these lines before and find myself daunted by the task of making recommendations, but as I spent the evening playing with my own little girls find myself determined to put forward materials that can make a difference in the lives of someone else's little girl.