Kidsave on the Ground Helping Orphans in Sierra Leone

Kidsave works in Sierra Leone to place children without parents into families. The number of children without parents skyrocketed during the Ebola Crisis. Now Kidsave is working to help those children find families. While Ebola has slipped from the headlines, the needs of these Ebola orphans and the need for their support remains urgent as hundreds, possibly thousands of children are still waiting in care centers and institutions, in need of permanent family care.

With more than 8,500 registered Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone, the need for recovery efforts focusing on helping these children is greater than ever. Please help.

Please feel free to copy and use the images and text from the stories above to help
children whose families were destroyed by Ebola in Sierra Leone.

More Ways to Give

General Donation

A general donation of any amount will fund the most critical projects in Sierra Leone focused on identifying children in need and finding them families.


Fund a Microloan

Just $25 a month or $300 one-time will insure that women taking in orphans in Sierra Leone have a steady, viable income to support additional children in their families.


Donate Used Tech

Send used iPhones, Androids or iPads to Kristoff and he will get them to Sierra Leone to be used to identify and monitor children in need of families.
Kristoff Kohlhagen – Kidsave
4622 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016


Program Update


With the confusion and danger of the Ebola outbreak settling over Sierra Leone, Kidsave and VCI continued to provide support to our earlier participating Kidsave families while ramping up efforts to help newly orphaned children transition out of interim care centers and orphanages and move into families. Since the outbreak, our program has placed more than 100 orphaned children into permanent family care.

At this very moment, Sierra Leonean families who are interested in helping these orphans are joining the Kidsave program and stepping forward to welcome a new child into their family.

In Kenema

The city of Kenema (one of our areas of operation) was quarantined for almost a third of the year.

With neighbors understandably worried about interacting with fellow neighbors, our staff found it difficult to move throughout the district. This impediment to mobility and interaction led to a real difficulty in implementing robust family tracing efforts for recently orphaned children. With the end of the quarantine and the soon-to-be finalized addition of a Kenema-specific program social worker, both the family reunification and hosting program will receive the extra support the Ebola orphans need to move quickly and safely into permanent, safe and stable family care.

In Freetown

In Freetown, our Kidsave program helped provide support to families that had already taken in and committed to local orphans.

Some of these families were supporting orphaned children as their own even before the Ebola epidemic struck. Due to the epidemic and resulting quarantines and restriction of movement, these families found providing even basic necessities extremely difficult. Recent flooding has just destroyed the homes of three Kidsave families. Help is being provided to ensure the children remain in permanent and stable family care.

In Bo

In the city of Bo, due to the high number of orphaned children and the difficulty and dangers of public travel, many permanent placements were made without hosting. Thanks to the recruitment of hosts, a large group of families were available to help take in the children. Reunification efforts for these children continue.

Kidsave is proud of the work and efforts of our partners and volunteers in Sierra Leone. These workers have faced and everyday continue to face an uncertain and often dangerous situation in order to offer protection and hope to some of the most vulnerable children in the world.


Programs and Services Working in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Family Visit

The Kidsave Sierra Leone Programme combines microloans with hosting to help increase family care in Sierra Leone for African children from local orphanages.

On the ground Village Care Initiatives (VCI) manages the Kidsave Sierra Leone Program. VCI staff and volunteers adapted The Family Visit Model to local customs – ensuring that the tenets of child preparation, family training and child protection were well maintained.

Microloans for families who are striving to offer permanent family care for children in the program is provided by interested groups such as “Kidsave Moms” and by generous donations. Fund a microloan above.


Shed Jah of Village Care Initiatives leads the Kidsave Sierra Leone Programme.

Here Shed is spreading the Kidsave message on Kiss 104 FM’s morning show and informing the city of Bo about the innovative Family Visit Model being implemented in their community.

“Teach them how to fish… “

The Kidsave Sierra Leone Program was created with increased economic capacity in mind, as most families cannot afford to take in extra children.
Microloans are given to groups of market women to help them build their businesses. As income grows they can better feed their families and build family income, which improves the likelihood that they will be able to take an extra child. With the loans the women invest in rice, beans, palm oil, groundnut (peanut), maize and vegetables.
Fund a microloan above.

Expanding Our Reach


Kidsave is working with the government of Sierra Leone to determine the numbers of children in institutions and interim care centers. Our information management system will support identification of orphanages unknown to the government, provide mobile technology to support reunification efforts and track permanent placements for all children. Training is also available to in how to implement the Family Visit Model.

For more information contact

Kidsave is committed to help the children of Sierra Leone by rebuilding family connections and providing orphaned children with the opportunity to grow up in permanent families. We are hopeful this program will be the inspiration for moving more children into permanent family care throughout Africa.

For more information about Kidsave’s work in Sierra Leone please contact Kristoff Kohlhagen, Manager of Kidsave Sierra Leone, at or call him in DC at (202) 503-3100.

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