Living Letters solidarity visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone

2 - 8 November 2008

These small crosses from Liberia are made from cartridge shells as a symbol of hope for a stable peace in that country.

An international ecumenical delegation sent by the World Council of Churches (WCC) visited Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2 - 8 November 2008.

Both Liberia and Sierra Leone were devastated by civil war in the 1990s. Liberia returned to peace and stability after the president and former warlord Charles Taylor was ousted in 2003 and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected head of state in late 2005. In neighbouring Sierra Leone, civil war officially ended in 2002.  

As the WCC closely followed Sierra Leone and Liberia during the years of civil conflict, it learned first hand about the suffering of the people. After the cessation of the violence, the WCC supported the churches and other ecumenical partners in providing relief and rehabilitation.  

The Living Letters visit to the two West African countries focused on learning how these nations cope with the memories of war. The ecumenical delegation learned about the initiatives for peace in which the National Councils of Churches of both countries have engaged in coordination with other faith communities, especially Sierra Leone's Muslim majority.  

Meetings with the president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, as well as other government representatives figured on the visit's agenda. So did encounters with people engaged in peace work on the ground, for example at a facility in Kenema in the eastern part of the country, where children who had lived in the streets after the war are now supported by the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone. Read more...


Report of the visit:

Liberia and Sierra Leone Living Letter report (pdf)


Reflections by Anam Gill

Being part of the Living Letters team to Sierra Leone and Liberia was an exciting and challenging experience. We were exposed to the issues involved in the ghastly wars these countries had gone through and from which...