We are Valerie and James, a Frenchwoman and an Englishman, who have been living in Austria since 1998. For the past ten years we have been supporting children in Sierra Leone and Kenya; but until 2017 we had never been to Africa ourselves.
In December 2017 we finally visited our godchild in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She lives in a house with 14 other children. Once there we got to know the everyday challenges of children in Sierra Leone and witnessed people still traumatized by the effects of the civil war and Ebola, but looking to the future full of hope and joy.
When one door closes…
Shortly after our trip the charity we had been supporting closed its doors. The house, our goddaughter and her 14 housemates were left without any support, financial or otherwise.
We had to act; and quickly.
We decided to take over the running of the house in Sierra Leone. Together with the kids, we named it MercyHome Freetown.
Of course, we have never operated a charity ourselves. We are busy professionals. Our spare time is scarce, taken up with our own families, friends, our house and our cats and dogs.
A challenge we embraced
Our trip to Sierra Leone showed us first hand that life is short, so we need to make it count. We cannot simply measure the value of life in terms of possessions. We now have an opportunity to change the lives of children and families for the better.
Join us on this adventure; you will get back more than you give.
Valerie & James