Change your view of beautiful Sierra Leone

Charlie Habershon in Sierra Leone
Charlie Habershon in Sierra Leone
Emma Bazely and Sam Dean tuck into an Asda cheesecake at their wedding

Couple say cheese and ditch the wedding cake

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A YOUNG entrepreneur is hoping to change tourists’ view of a once war-ravaged African country.

Charlie Habershon first visited Sierra Leone in 2006 and was struck by its beauty and touched by the kindness of the people.

It changed his life and it became his mission to show the world that the West African nation is no longer the war-torn country of more than a decade ago.

He has set up Near Far, an ethical fashion business using local tailors who did not get the chance of education because they were fighting in the civil war.

And he also runs a travel agency specialising in volunteering opportunities for students, graduates and workers on sabbaticals who want to help change a community.

Mr Haberson, 25, from Emsworth, said: ‘When people think of Sierra Leone they often think of war. In fact the war ended 11 years ago.

‘I have always felt welcome in the country and never threatened.

‘Not to mention the wealth of beautiful beaches that rival anywhere in the world.

‘The country has vast rainforests and a huge array of wildlife including chimpanzees, pygmy hippo and exotic birds. I want to raise the country’s profile and challenge the stereotype of a country still fraught with danger.’

To volunteer with The Collective go to thecollectivesl.co.uk or email charlie@thecollectiveSL.co.uk.