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David Nana- YMCA Sierra Leone volunteer

“Being a child during the war was very difficult, as the lives of young people at the time can be compared to those of chickens who await death any minute or hour. Young people were used as child soldiers to loot, kill and destroy. There was no hope for young people, no education, and a high increase in the crime rate which led to a low literacy rate and life expectancy was 5%. There was insufficient food which led to young people becoming rebels or willingly joining the rebels to ensure easy access to food, money, drugs and alcohol. As a result there was little hope for young people.

Life after the war for young people became difficult as well. Youth unemployment became a major problem as a result of corruption and high percentage of uneducated and unskilled young people. But as time went on, young people became more aware and self-conscious and are now developmentally oriented.”

David survived the Sierra Leone civil war as a child.  As a teen, living in the aftermath of a brutal war, the YMCA taught him about his civil rights, and gave him job skills.  Now, he volunteers with the YMCA to help other youth.

There are over 800,000 young people in Sierra Leone who have been left uneducated and unemployed after the war.  They need job skills and training to sustain themselves as adults. The YMCA is doing exactly this.

“The YMCA taught me that the things you do for yourself will go with you when you’re dead. The things you do for others will always stay as your legacy.”

Donate today to give a youth life-changing career training at the YMCA, and give the gift of hope.


“The YMCA has transformed my life. I will never be the same again.”

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