Children of Sierra Leone Still Paying the Price of "Blood" Diamonds

Posted on November 16, 2006 by Deanna Wallace

Children of Sierra Leone Still Paying the Price of "Blood" Diamonds

International charity, All As One, believes the Warner Bros. film, "Blood Diamond," will bring needed attention to the children of Sierra Leone, who still suffer the effects from a brutal, ten-year civil war. Coinciding with the release of the film, one supporter will be auctioning his diamond ring from a broken engagement to help raise awareness and funds for All As One and the children in their care.

Spanaway, WA (PRWeb) November 16, 2006 -- International charity, All As One, is hopeful that the upcoming Warner Bros. film, "Blood Diamond," will raise awareness about the decade-long war in Sierra Leone and the children who are still suffering its effects. One supporter of the cause will be auctioning his diamond ring from a broken engagement, and donating the proceeds to All As One, in an effort to shine a light on the continuing issue of "conflict" diamonds, while benefiting the children of Sierra Leone in the process.

The civil war in Sierra Leone, funded by corruption and the "blood" diamond trade, was devastating to the people and economy of the country. Though the conflict ended in 2002, it is the children who are still suffering the most. Operating by donations from individuals across the world, All As One's Children's Center in Freetown provides shelter, food, clothes, education, and medical care for orphaned and destitute children, who would otherwise be living on the streets.

Deanna Wallace, a resident of Washington and founder of All As One, is a mother of twelve -- ten of whom came to her through adoption, both internationally and domestically. She says, "In Sierra Leone's past, orphans were raised by their extended families. But the war has ravaged the country, destroyed villages, and left Sierra Leone's citizens in poverty. The government simply does not have the resources to begin implementing child welfare programs or orphanages."

According to UNICEF, Sierra Leone has a staggering 340,000 orphans. While the number of orphans has decreased significantly in Asia and Latin America since the 1990s, the number in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by more than 50%. Complicated adoption procedures and restrictions, many imposed by the US government, make the need for organizations like All As One even greater. "For many of these children, this is the first, and possibly the only, home they will have," Wallace says. "But they are thriving at the Children's Center -- here, they have a chance to learn, play, and just be kids." 

The eBay auction will run from December 5-15, to coincide with the December 8 release of the film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly. Wallace hopes the film and the auction will bring needed attention and support to a country much of the world has forgotten.

For additional information about All As One or the upcoming auction, contact Jen Brauer or visit Photos are available upon request.

About All As One:

All As One is an international charity and non-governmental organization in Sierra Leone, whose US office is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and whose Dubai office is a registered nonprofit organization licensed through Dubai Aid and Humanitarian City. Through their orphanage, school and medical clinic in Freetown, they work to build a better future for the children of Sierra Leone.