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Sierra Leone

  • By: Justin Corfield
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Sierra Leone, a country in west Africa, is bordered by Guinea in the north, Liberia in the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest, and was a British colony until independence in 1961. It has a female life expectancy of 42.46, one of the lowest in the world. Freetown, the capital, owes its establishment to a scheme in 1787 for returning freed slaves to run a settlement. It was taken over by the British government in 1808, with many slaves freed by the British Royal Navy brought there. The people who lived there had no common language or culture, and had little to do with the people in the hinterland. British missionaries provided education in a number of schools established on the English model, ...

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