When Street Child’s work began in Sierra Leone in 2008, it was the poorest nation in the world. Today, children continue to face significant barriers to learning, with 36% of children never completing primary school and many more leaving school without foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Street Child’s research has shown that poverty continues to be the primary barrier to education, often alongside social barriers including loss of a caregiver, teenage pregnancy, parental attitudes to education, and poor teaching quality. 88% of out of school children in Sierra Leone live in rural areas, where 3 in 4 rural adults are illiterate.

Without intervention, children risk getting stuck in a cycle of illiteracy and poverty. Street Child’s rural education model ‘Schools for Tomorrow’ works to tackle this educational disadvantage by empowering communities to transform the quality of primary education provision.



Of children who never complete primary school. Many more leave school without foundational literacy and numeracy skills.


Adults in rural areas are illiterate.


Of out of school children in Sierra Leone live in rural areas.

what we are doing

In Sierra Leone, Street Child works predominantly alongside an excellent national NGO partner Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL), and together we have increased opportunities to access quality basic education for more than 150,000 children nationwide, including through the post-conflict, Ebola crisis and COVID-19 crisis periods. Street Child has an established nationwide presence in every province and works alongside families and communities to overcome barriers to learning.


In Sierra Leone’s most remote rural regions, Street Child’s ‘Schools for Tomorrow’ model addresses access and quality barriers to primary education through community partnership. Since 2010, Street Child has worked side by side with over 350 rural communities to kick-start or transform learning. Specific interventions have included the construction, renovation and resourcing of classrooms, investment in the training and development of more than 1,700 teachers, providing WASH facilities and training, and developing community advocacy and sustainability strategies. More than 100,000 rural children have enrolled in improved quality education as a result of our intervention. 

In 2019, Street Child began rolling out it's successful Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) based approach to rapidly improve the foundational literacy and numeracy skills of children.


Street Child’s award-winning ‘Family Business for Education’ model addresses individual social and financial barriers to education for the most vulnerable categories of children, including street-connected children, teenage mothers and children affected by disability. To date over 34,000 families have been supported to develop a sustainable source of income through a tailored package of training, business grants and saving/mentoring. This model of financial empowerment, alongside intensive social support and community level advocacy, has led to the enrolment and retention of more than 67,000 children in school, who otherwise would have little opportunity to complete basic education.

NEWS and media

YOUR IMPACT in sierra leone


Children reached, of which at least 45,309 were girls.


Adults reached, 2,418 of which received family business grants.


Classrooms across 385 schools supported through renovations or construction.

choose an amount to donate


could provide an emergency – affected learner in Somalia with school meals for a year. School meals are a key aspect in the retention of students in school as the one meal they receive a day at school could sadly be the only meal they have all day.


could provide a family of five living in a camp for people displaced by conflict in North-East Nigeria with a food relief package to last a month, ensuring the family do not go hungry and that the children do not return to school on an empty stomach.


could provide one household in Sierra Leone with livelihood support, including training and a start-up business grant, enabling them to financially recover from the pandemic and afford the costs of sending their children back to school.


Or enter your own amount. Please give generously!


Could provide learning kits for a child in Nigeria. These kits provide basic stationary, textbooks, and water bottles, meaning the children can fully engage in school.


Could help train a community-based case worker to protect Rohingya refugee girls from sexual, physical and psychological abuse.


Could help us to provide basic literacy and numeracy support to a Rohingya Refugee child in Bhasan Char Island over the 30 days.


Or enter your own amount. Please give generously!

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