People don’t choose to live in places like Kroo Bay. They live there because when you run out of money, you run out of choices. It’s not easy to imagine yourself living the life of someone so far away, in what seems like another world. But we have to keep on giving because we’re scaling such a huge mountain. We are saving children’s lives, we’re just not making progress fast enough.
As I get closer to Kroo Bay’s river, I’m genuinely shocked by what I see. The centre of the community is an open sewer, crawling with disease. Children still in their smart uniforms rush home from school and use the river as a toilet – there simply isn’t another option. I wonder if the kids I see know how bad they have it.
I slowly begin to grasp why children are dying in such huge numbers here from the simplest things – to survive in Kroo Bay I think you have to be pretty special.
The 27th of April 2010 will be remembered as a special day in, and for, Sierra Leone.
Not only because the 27th of April is independence day, but because – and most importantly – it is the day that going to the doctor will become free for children under five and pregnant women, and new mothers.