If you lived in Sierra Leone, you might live in a wood house in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. If you lived in a village, your home would probably be made of sticks covered with mud or blocks made from mud and heated in the sun. Your home would have a thatched or metal roof and it would probably only have two or three rooms. You definitely would not have your own bedroom. The kitchen would be outside the home, under a simple roof made of metal or branches. It would not have a refrigerator or stove, but a place to build a simple fire for cooking. You would probably use a community outhouse instead of a toilet.
Sierra Leone is a small country in West Africa, slightly larger than South Carolina. It sits along the Atlantic Ocean, with Guinea to the north and east, and Liberia to the south. A Portuguese explorer gave the country its name, which means “lion mountains” in 1462. Sierra Leone has miles of coastal plains, followed by muddy swamps. Further inland lie forests, jungles and farmlands. To the far east is a mountain range.
Sierra Leone was an important country during the slave trade. Bunce Island, off the coast of Freetown, became a major center for slave shipping. Great Britain outlawed slavery in the early 1800s. British ships would patrol the coasts of Africa and returned any slaves they found to Freetown. Runaway slaves often escaped to Freetown and after the Civil War, many slaves returned to Africa, via this city.
Great Britain ruled Sierra Leone from 1808 until 1961. The country became a republic with an elected president. The country was at civil war from 1991 to 2002. Thousands of people died during this war.
Fun Facts About Sierra Leone
- 5,525,000 people live in Sierra Leone.
- The country has 27,699 square miles of land.
- The languages used in Sierra Leone are English, Mende, Temne and Krio.
- Most people are Muslim, Christian or follow a native religion.
- People in Sierra Leone can expect to live 43 years.
- Only 31 percent of adults can read. More men than women know how to read.
All About Sierra Leone Vocabulary
- Thatched: made from woven grasses and plants
- Outhouse: a primitive toilet
- Patrol: guard, monitor
All About Sierra Leone Video for Kids
Check out this cool video about Sierra Leone for kids:
Sierra Leone Q&A
Question: What do people eat in Sierra Leone?
Answer: Rice is the most important food to people in Sierra Leone, and it is served at almost every meal. People also eat fish or meat, such as goat or lamb, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Most people are farmers and they sell their crops in open air markets.
Map of Sierra Leone
Here’s a map of the country of Sierra Leone and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Sierra Leone! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Sierra Leone, as though you are actually there!
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