Area: 27,699 square miles (slightly smaller than South Carolina)
Population: 5.6 million
Religions: Muslim 60%, indigenous beliefs 30%, and Christian 10%
Recent history: The country was entangled in a civil war from 1991 to 2002. More than 2 million people were displaced during that time. United Nations workers helped establish peace and democracy after the war. They left in 2005, and, since then, the military has been solely responsible for the country’s security. Democratic elections were held in Sierra Leone in 2007 and 2012. The new government’s main goals are to rebuild the country, create jobs, and stop corruption.
Read about Kelvin Doe, who develops inventions that improve life for his community in Sierra Leone, in the September 20, 2013 issue of TIME FOR KIDS.