Menu
Return to Blog

I am leaving tomorrow to Freetown, Sierra Leone filled with feelings of anxiety as well as hope. The last time I was there was just a few months after the brutal civil war ended in 2002 that claimed tens of thousands of lives and left more than a third of its population displaced. Yet it is the unspeakable atrocities that are so haunting. I remember back in 1999, Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora, a friend and extremely committed journalist, who was later killed covering the conflict, told me stories of rebels offering their victims the choice between a “long sleeve” or “short sleeve” just as they were about to hack off their victims’ arms. When I arrived, three years later, I saw faces devoid of expression, weighed down by these horrific memories. The goal was not just to kill people but to terrorize an entire population.

Today security and the politics are steadily improving but there is a quieter battle still going on.  One in eight women are dying giving birth. The government recently announced free health care to pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers and children under five beginning on April 27. With only about 170 doctors for more than 5 million people, this will be a daunting task.  I hope this documentary can raise awareness, promote change and help. The doctors, health workers and government are working hard to change the statistics.

If you are interested in learning more about this or want to donate, the following links are to organizations working there.

Unicef

Marie Stopes International

Doctors Without Borders

Amnesty International

You May Also Enjoy



Ami Vitale on Afar Magazine’s Women to Watch in 2020

Ami Vitale on Afar Magazine’s Women to Watch in 2020

Ami Vitale is one of 20 honorees on Afar Magazine’s inaugural Women to Watch in 2020. In celebration of Women’s History Month, and using the Society of Woman Geographers as inspiration, Afar Magazine has reinvented the all-female travel society for the year 2020. “Singularly and together,” they say, “these travelers are our guides to exploring [ … ]

Read More

Ami Vitale Named First TreadRight Wildlife Ambassador

Ami Vitale Named First TreadRight Wildlife Ambassador

In celebration of World Wildlife Day on March 3, The TreadRight Foundation named Ami Vitale its first ever Wildlife Ambassador. TreadRight urges each and every traveler to take their pledge to make travel matter, for our planet, our people and wildlife by refusing single use plastics and, when not possible, to recycle them. To offset [ … ]

Read More

Nikon Donates New Z 50 and Lenses to Joseph Wachira at NYWild Film Festival

Nikon Donates New Z 50 and Lenses to Joseph Wachira at NYWild Film Festival

I was honored to introduce the moving documentary film Kifaru directed by David Hambridge about the last male northern white rhino, “Sudan” at the 7th Annual New York Wild Film Festival opening night. Joseph “JoJo” Wachira flew in from Ol Pejeta in Kenya for the festival where Nikon surprised him with a new Nikon Z [ … ]

Read More