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The global Salvation Army – spotlight on the thriving Africa Zone

Students at Len Millar High School, Liberia. There are 5289 students enrolled in Salvation Army schools in the African nation.

Almost half of The Salvation Army’s 1.2 million church members are based in 27 countries across Africa.

Kenya East and Kenya West territories have almost a quarter of a million senior soldiers between them, with Zimbabwe/Botswana Territory boasting 140,000 senior soldiers.

Recent expansion has occurred in Madagascar, Gabon, Togo, Burundi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, eSwatini (Swaziland) and Guinea, and further missionary expansions are being explored in Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Ivory Coast.

Administratively, the work in Africa is divided into 17 territories. Apart from reaching out through spreading the Word of God and working towards unity with other religious groups and Christian denominations, The Salvation Army also reaches out to the vulnerable and less privileged through social programs such as:

• Schools

• Hospitals and health centres

• Women and youth empowerment programs

• Conservation agriculture

• Adult and children’s homes

• Disaster response

• Anti-human trafficking response

• Rehabilitation for street children, sex workers and people with drug addictions.

These social outreach ministries are supported by partnerships with other Salvation Army locations, government funding or locally generated funds.


Modern slavery and human trafficking affect 49.6 million people globally. Nearly a quarter of these cases are in Africa. Forced labour is a reality for 37 per cent of trafficked persons in Africa followed by forced marriage and sexual exploitation.

Raising awareness of human trafficking on the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Salvation Army has an international modern slavery and human trafficking response strategy to work towards a world without slavery. The eight focus areas – prayer, prosecution, proof, policy, partnership, protection, participation and prevention – demonstrate how The Salvation Army participates with God in holistically responding to modern slavery and human trafficking around the world.

Each territory in Africa has an anti-trafficking coordinator, and they collaborate through a national community of practice. This forum brings together anti-trafficking and modern slavery personnel and practitioners to interact, engage, share information, resources and best practices, and build strong partnerships and networks.

At least 20 survivors have been repatriated to their home countries annually since 2021 through partnership and protection responses, and locally The Salvation Army is working towards fully implementing the prosecution, participation, policy and research (proof) responses.

Trafficking and modern slavery practices rapidly change, requiring interventions to be continually relevant amidst limited resources.


The Salvation Army started working in Liberia in May 1988, about 18 months before the country was plunged into a deadly civil war that lasted for 14 years.

The Salvation Army started its first school in Monrovia, the capital city, in 1992. This initiative has grown into a school system consisting of 13 learning institutions – mostly built during the civil conflict.

There are 5289 students enrolled in Salvation Army schools in Liberia with 386 administrative, instructional and support staff.

The Salvation Army schools in Liberia have consistently been among the best-performing schools in public examinations with the schools mostly obtaining 95-100 per cent pass rates annually with many national awards in academic and extracurricular activities.

With a successful record of providing primary and secondary education in the country, The Salvation Army started offering tertiary education in 2018 through its polytechnic facility which offers associate degree programs. In 2022, the polytechnic received accreditation to offer baccalaureate degree programs in 10 disciplines.

At the end of 2022, The Salvation Army received three prestigious educational awards. In January 2023, the school system won the championship in the 2022-23 annual debate and quiz competition organised by an anticorruption organisation, the Faith and Justice Network, Liberia.

The Salvation Army in Liberia has a vision of reaching many communities in need with quality and affordable education and extending its services to Sierra Leone and Guinea, regions that are ranked with the lowest literacy and numeracy rates in the world.


The Salvation Army in East Kenya implements a number of community development projects on resilience, anti-human trafficking, community health, economic empowerment and education.

Rose tending to her kitchen garden in Kenya.

Food security intervention is delivered through the Mseto resilience project improving and equipping families with farming knowledge and skills relevant to the context of climate change. Around 1404 families inclusive of people living with disability have benefitted throughout the project’s life and have replicated the technologies that have impacted communities positively enabling their food security, nutrition and household income.

Future developments will focus on the use of technology especially in production, marketing and research.


All parents want to feel that they are providing for their families. This is not easy in the slums where crime, violence and unemployment are rampant.

Women work together to handcraft beaded animals to sell. Profits are shared among the group.

Nairobi Investors economic empowerment program is helping families across Nairobi slums to improve their economic situations through savings and soft loans. Men and women living in Nairobi slums worked together on saving small amounts of money and borrowing the accumulated savings as loans to start small businesses to independently attend to their basic needs such as food, education, health and shelter.

The intervention has offered the households capacity to become self-reliant by providing beneficiaries with basic business, budgeting and financial skills.

Since this programme started, it has formed and enhanced 50 savings and loans groups in 37 Salvation Army churches and in 26 slum communities where 1840 members participate as direct beneficiaries.

The project has empowered women to achieve financial independence, families are able to live more fulfilling lives and are lifted out of poverty, and people are able to free themselves from other social challenges, such as gender-based violence.

A sustainable livelihood offers people an equitable and dignified life. This program hopes to double the number of beneficiaries in the future.

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A recent exhibition at Salvation Army International Headquarters in London highlighed the modern slavery and human trafficking response within Africa, school ministry in Liberia and food security and economic empowerment programs in Kenya.


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