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Anyone know a lot about Sierra Leone?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 07:02 am
I am asking because (along with a number of similarly afflicted countries) we are bringing to Oz a lot of refugees from that country, and my work is bringing me into contact with them.


These are young people who have experienced quite unspeakable trauma.......kidnapping of young girls on a massive scale by various armies, with gang rape, torture of other kinds, and long term and ongoing abuse by soldiers for years......sometimes the girls were also forced to become soldiers, and commit atrocities themselves, to bind them to the troops....or assist in kidnapping other children in hopes of protecting themselves. Many bore children as a result of these offences.

Life hasn't been great for boys, either....many also kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, also forced to commit atrocities themselves...


Children routinely witnessed their parents and other close adults massacred.

This is the country that became famous for having lots of people's hands cut off, and other torture performed.


With so many fellas killed in the fighting, there are lots of widows...and widowhood is apparently a shameful state. Women experience much economic and legal inequality.

The fighting has stopped, but people are scattered all over, and rape being considered shameful and the girl, of course, to blame, many girls are too ashamed to seek out their families, if they still exist. Ex boy soldiers do not feel too happy about what happened to them, either.


Anyhoo, that is part of the story of these young refugees....there's more, but you prolly have heard enough.



So...needless to say some of these young people are having a wee bit of trouble knowing how to be good mummies and daddies, and such.



I will gradually be finding out about the culture from community members, but so far what I have been able to find on the web is all about trauma, and I am finding it hard to find about what the culture is like in ordinary times....I do not just want to know about what things are like in a poor country like this when things go mad, I would love to know about the culture's strengths and ordinary stuff.


Anyone know about the place? Or know of good sites to find out?


Pretty please?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,428 • Replies: 16
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ul
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 07:47 am
http://sierra-leone.org/links.html

You might find something in these links.

Do you use scirus . com for research?
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blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 07:52 am
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sl.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1061561.stm

http://allafrica.com/sierraleone/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Leone

This country sounds like a good place to be from-- as in not there anymore!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 03:49 pm
Thanks Blacksmithn, but I had already found those. I didbn't see much about culture in there.......did you, did I miss something?


Yep, I had found that one, Ul.

What is scirus . com? I will go have a look after work.
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tagged lyricist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 03:58 pm
well I know enough to not want to know more, unfortunately this kind of occurrence is rather popular in africa. Living in South Afirica we get so many of the refuguues from all over it's terriying to hear the stories where ever they from sad thing is nothing changes nothing stops.
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blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 04:18 pm
If you google sierra leone culture, you'll get 11,500 hits or so. Some of them look pretty interesting. I'd post some, but I'm outta here in 30 seconds.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 04:20 pm
blacksmithn wrote:
If you google sierra leone culture, you'll get 11,500 hits or so. Some of them look pretty interesting. I'd post some, but I'm outta here in 30 seconds.



No worries, I will do that.

I was just hoping someone here knew first hand.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 04:48 pm
tagged_lyricist wrote:
well I know enough to not want to know more, unfortunately this kind of occurrence is rather popular in africa. Living in South Afirica we get so many of the refuguues from all over it's terriying to hear the stories where ever they from sad thing is nothing changes nothing stops.


Have you worked with the refugees, TL?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 04:55 pm
The Atlantic Monthly has published a number of stories, some of which provide "used to be" background.

http://www.theatlantic.com/srch/?words=Sierra+Leone
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 05:02 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
The Atlantic Monthly has published a number of stories, some of which provide "used to be" background.

http://www.theatlantic.com/srch/?words=Sierra+Leone


Bless you Noddy! And here is me a subscriber.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 05:04 pm
<bookmark>
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 05:45 pm
Dlowan--

There may be nothing in those stories but hints of a past, pastoral golden age, but somehow I know that the young men went out with the herds and the young women learned to fetch wood and carrywater and grind incredible amounts of grain.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 05:52 pm
i'll try to get Mr. B, aka bbaptiste (send him a pm?) onto here. He's from Liberia and knows a thing or two...
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 May, 2006 06:18 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
i'll try to get Mr. B, aka bbaptiste (send him a pm?) onto here. He's from Liberia and knows a thing or two...


Ah, Liberia is next door, and has its own horrors I believe. (We have a lot of refugees from there, too.)

That would be great!


Whoa, the Atlantic article IS interesting, here is an excerpt and a link:




http://www.theatlantic.com/ideastour/archive/kaplan.mhtml
0 Replies
 
tagged lyricist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 May, 2006 10:18 am
My dad is GP in a really rough part of the city and he deals with all sorts. At the moment there are major security guard strikes and policeman from zimababwe have come in there month off to work as security gaurds in Jo'burg becasue they will earn more as guards here then police man in Zim, my dad had two working for him for a while. I shot a doccie in second year about AIDS orphans in Alex (one of our major townships/ghettos) and about families of kids raising kids some of the most harrowing stuff ever.

But the illegal immigrants are from everywhere: from mozambique, the Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria etc. Every time you meet one and hear there story it kills something inside of you.

I met a group of illeagal immigrants that told me they had hitched and walked they way through Africa and that some of them had died of exhaustion, eaten by lions or killed by millatry, rebels etc. (they were from somalia a long far walk to S.A.)
0 Replies
 
bbaptiste
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 06:03 pm
hi dlowan,

Dagmaraka told me about this thread. I was born in Liberia which is next door to Sierra Leone and shares a similar culture and recent history of tradegy and misery. You see the trouble in Sierra Leone began when the Liberian Civil War (via Charles Taylor) spilled over into Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leoneans, like Liberians, are a very vibrant, happy people. Before the war, freetown was one of the friendliest cities in West Africa. Sierra Leoneans love music, dancing and very spicy food. The culture is very family oriented and communal in nature.

I'll wager that as these folks get settled in Oz, their neighborhoods will become a fun destination for good food, good music and good company. It's really hard to summarize and condense an entire culture in an email. However, feel free to contact me at [email protected], I'll be happy to help you with any questions that you may have.

Emanuel
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2006 09:14 pm
Thank you bbaptiste!

I have your email addy now, if you wish to ask a mod to remove it for you.
0 Replies
 
 

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