Ryan visited various sites on an intensive two-day trip, following a six-hour flight from London to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. His first port of call was a health centre in Binkolo where he learned about the challenges in child survival and measures that can be taken to prevent HIV being passed from a mother to her baby.
“Healthcare in Sierra Leone is very limited. I saw a woman giving birth on a bed, in the same room where an antenatal class was taking place,” reflects Ryan.
“Hopefully people will continue to help and donate money to UNICEF, in order to give much-needed funds to places like the health centre in Binkolo.”
The first day’s itinerary also took Ryan to the remote village of Mangoreh, where he visited a family who were receiving advice and information about HIV. Later he watched children at Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone Primary School take part in a question and answer session on the disease and perform a short play about it.
Finally for day one, Ryan met the Queens of the North, a local team for girls and young women in Makeni.
The players, aged 15 to 22, explained how football has helped to empower them, and how they’re