Tombodu is a relatively small provincial town in the Kono District of Sierra Leone in West Africa. This poverty-stricken town has an estimated population of 3,000 people. There is no electricity or water supply to any of the houses.

There are two primary schools and one secondary school. None of these schools has access to clean water, educational resources or qualified teachers. They also lack any kind of government funding or support, which has led to the school buildings falling to ruins.

The History of Tombodu

The Sierra Leone Civil War began in 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) made an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government. This led to a brutal civil war that lasted 11 years. 

Child soldiers were heavily recruited in the Sierra Leone Civil War; a total of 11,000 are thought to have participated in the conflict. The RUF made extensive use of child soldiers using horrific methods to numb their new recruits to barbarity.

Thousands of abducted boys and girls were forced to serve as soldiers or as prostitutes, and those chosen to be fighters were sometimes forced to murder their parents.

Tombodu was the site of a major massacre in 1998 during the civil war. People were beheaded or killed in other ways, and their bodies were thrown into a pit called “Savage Pit” after the name of the AFRC commando who headed the massacre.

It is estimated that between 50,000-300,000 people were killed during the civil war. 2.5 million people were displaced internally and externally.

Since the end of the brutal civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress towards political stability and economic growth. However, the ruinous effects of the civil war continue to be felt.