Many young people in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, are still struggling to make ends meet in light of the country’s dire economic situation.
Purchasing food, clothing, and other necessities, as well as paying for housing, continue to be significant challenges for them. Their prospects are bleak in a country that shows no signs of emerging from its economic quagmire.
Foday Kamara is one of the hardest-hit youngsters in the city as he ekes a living through begging on the streets.
“I have nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat; most times, I sleep on the streets and beg from passers-by,” Kamara explained.
Alpha Kamara is also another victim of street poverty who left home because his parents were in the red.
He left school at class 4 when he was fourteen years old. He has been on the street for two years with no way to call home. No one came to his aid and a light at the end of the tunnel was not too sure to come.
Young men at the Bus Station in the city face similar challenges: no job and no place to sleep, putting their survival on a knife edge. The menial jobs they perform on the streets cannot sufficiently sustain them.
Their only option is to turn to non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to come to their rescue as their lives depreciate at every tick of the clock,
Youth unemployment is one of the major causes of war in Sierra Leone and a serious threat to the country’s peace.
According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), almost 60 percent of young people in Sierra Leone are unemployed, a situation that forces many to move to Europe and other Asian countries.
The youth are, however, showing readiness to put behind memories of Sierra Leone’s decade-long war, but the lack of jobs is driving many to crime and violence. The move is a threat to peace.
Youth unemployment in Sierra Leone was exacerbated by a number of causes, including the civil war’s impact, a lack of entrepreneurship, rural-to-urban migration, and a low degree of participation in agriculture.