Recent News

Freetown Flood & Landslide Update: The Emergency Camps are Phasing Out

The flooding and mudslide in August was a terrible tragedy in Sierra Leone. Thanks to your support, over the past months, we have provided food, water, clothing and other basic supplies to the families in need. We have also provided psychosocial counseling and educational classes. We could not have done it without your support.  Thank you so much for helping flood-affected families in Sierra Leone.   After such a tragic event, the transition back to normal life is not an easy one. Because of this, and to help continue the process of helping, we organized a Fun Fair on November 11, 2017. This was a special treat for the kids residing at the Juba Response Emergency Camp. The Fun Fair gave these children a chance to enjoy an event and provide some healing from their traumatic experience. The event included a skit (play) and a musical concert by a well-known, young artist. More photos are available in the full photo album One of the main preventive measures highlighted in the skit was the importance of hand washing. Kids were encouraged to wash their hands before eating, after using the restroom. Parents were also encouraged to wash their hands before feeding their kids. The skit highlighted areas such as hilltops, the bank of streams and slums as dangerous areas people must stay away from to protect themselves and their children. Develop Africa’s Director, Mr. Abu Conteh, encouraged both the kids and parents to adhere to the preventative measures of cholera highlighted in the drama by the kids and also to stay away from vulnerable areas. In his speech, he advised parents to do everything in their power to send their kids back to school. “Education” he stated “is the key to every success of a nation. Education is the poor man’s friend.” These emergency response camps were set up on a temporary basis. Long term, keeping the families in tents is far from ideal. With this in mind, the families were informed several weeks ago that the camps would be phased out. Families were encouraged to accelerate plans to move out. In order to help them transition out, the families have started receiving care packages (money towards housing expenses, food, water, clothes and other basic supplies). “After the landslide, mudslide and flooding on 14 August 2017, camps of tents were set up to house displaced people. The Office of National Security (ONS) over the weekend engaged with displaced victims at the various camps in Freetown on dispatch plans and procedures for the closing down of the camps on 15 November 2017. The camps will come down and the victims will be removed from the camps.”  - Full Article from Awoko.org  Another news article states, "On 20 November the ONS announced that verified survivors who had not received their aid packages would be permitted to continue sleeping in the formal and informal shelters until they did."  -Full Article- Theguardian.com By November 22nd, at least 28 families had left the Juba camp, with more families leaving every week. Many of the families expressed a sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about their future.  We have obtained the cell phone numbers of many of the families. We plan to continue to provide support to them - particularly in the area of scholarship assistance for the children. These families truly need all the support that they can get as they try to start life over.
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Supporting Schools With Supplies in Cameroon in Partnership With The US Army

We are so very thankful for the opportunity to partner with the US Army in Cameroon

 

Click or tap here to view photos on Flickr.com
Album Date: 
Mon, 11/27/2017
News Type: 
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Cameroon Students are Enjoying School

The students at Bitame Lucia Nursery and Primary School (BLIS) are enjoying school thanks to your ongoing support that has provided school supplies, books, and scholarships for them.  Since school reopened, the older students are enjoying playing sports and excitedly learning in school.  The nursery students love playing, exercising on the playground and also learning in their classrooms.  The kids are so grateful for the opportunity to learn and prepare themselves for a bright future.  Thanks again for making a difference for these deserving children in Cameroon and helping us and the school achieve the mission of providing the children with an opportunity to receive their education.  Your continued support to help us provide scholarships, school supplies and needed school improvements is greatly appreciated.
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Future Freetown Leaders Start New School Year

Thanks in part to your ongoing support, more future leaders received scholarships for this school year.   A total of 51 students received scholarships to go to school this year.  There were 23 students in primary school and 28 students in secondary school that received scholarships for school.   Some parents in this part of the world find it financially difficult to send their children to school. The scholarships made school possible for each of these students. School materials like books, bags, pencils, crayons and also solar lights were distributed to some of the beneficiaries. Several beneficiaries are: Agnes who just started class 6 and hopes to be a banker when she completes schooling. Joseph just started Senior Secondary School (S.S.S 2) and is working to be an Engineer when he completes school Joy who is now in class 6 and would like to be a doctor when she grows up. You have helped make an impact on multiple schools and many children's lives with your support. We deeply appreciate your kind assistance. We are thankful that we are doing our part to prepare them for a brighter future. Please join us in providing more children in need with uniforms, school supplies, and scholarships.   
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Most of The Trees We Planted are Growing

We are delighted to report that most of the trees we planted have taken root and are growing. You can see some of the growth in the included photo. You can see more photos in the full album.   Tree planting is a slow process that takes years. So we are not expecting large immediate results.  Unfortunately, some of the seedlings withered out and died.  So we are planning to do some more planting in the next 1-2  months to replace the ones that withered away. Since we launched this project, in August, Freetown experienced a heavy rainfall season. Torrential flooding and landslides resulted in over 800 dead/missing.There is a dire need for reforestation and these recent incidents highlighted and confirmed the need for action n this area.  While there are hundreds of acres that need to be reforested, we are definitely on the right track. Your support is so very much appreciated as we continue to follow the steps recommended by the local Environmental Protection Agency.
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Microfinance Loan Ensures a Better Future for Tigidankay

Thank you for your continued support, which has enabled women like Tigidankay to have a better future for herself and her family. Our microfinance or microcredit loans give individuals a helping hand to get their businesses going or to help them grow their existing businesses.   Please check out the video of appreciation from Tigidankay  In the video she says:  "Hello, my name is Tigidankay and I am one of the microfinance beneficiaries. I used the money to expand my small business. I am retailing soap, sugar, and milk. I also sell perfume spray that I give out on credit and collect payment at the end of the month. The microfinance loan has helped me be able to take care of myself and my family. Thank you!” We are so thankful that we are empowering lives and helping them become self-sufficient.  We are overcoming poverty one family at a time. You can continue to help make a difference by signing up for a recurring donation. This will support microfiannce loans for more deserving women like Tigidankay.  Thank you again for making a difference!
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The Dream Home has Running Water!

Thanks to your support, the Dream Home children now have running water!  The funds from this project helped purchase a water tank, connect the well to the tank and install the solar pump.  This water supply will enhance cleanliness, providing better health and sanitation for the kids. This is a benefit that all children should enjoy and we are thankful that together we made this a reality. You can see an album of photos at this link in addition to the one below. You can see Felicia using the new water pump in this video.   Thanks so much for helping bring running water to the Dream Home!
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Project SAIL - 300 pounds of Books and School Supplies Collected

Sravya is a high school student in NC who collected 24 boxes / over 300 pounds of  'gently-used' school supplies to help educate kids in Africa.  

She started a non-profit organization named 'Project S.A.I.L.' - Student Alliance For International Literacy – http://www.ProjectSAIL.org - to conduct several drives in her area to collect educational materials. 

Click or tap here to view photos on Flickr.com
Album Date: 
Mon, 10/23/2017
News Type: 
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Students Training to Become Successful

Thank you for your continued support of Vocational Trainees. Your generosity is truly making a lifelong impact on these individuals and their families.  Your support most recently has helped the Generation 21 (G21) Cosmetology students. G21 was established in Sierra Leone in 2010, training young girls in the art of cosmetology. The prime goal of the center is to train young girls to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. The ladies are trained in both in the theory and practical aspect in cosmetology. Adult literacy classes have also been established for young ladies who have never gone to school. Since the establishment of G21 the center has made some great accomplishment in training young girls. More than 500 young girls have been trained in cosmetology through the institution and many of them have since been employed in different saloons across the country and others have established their own saloons. Tenneh, pictured below, is one of the students at G21. She is a single mom of a 3-year-old and is staying with friends while she completes Cosmetology school. Both of Tenneh's parents have passed away so it is important for her to be able to learn a trade that will give Tenneh and her child a chance at a better future. Click here for the full photo album. Thank you for making a difference for these young people and their families.  We welcome your continued support! 
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Susan Grace thanks her Sponsor

This Child Sponsorship Update gives you a look into the relationship/communication between children and their sponsors.  

This is actual communication exchanged from a child to her sponsor.

In Susan Grace's video to her sponsor, she says:  "Hi Michele, this is Susan.  Thank you for your sponsorship. Now I am dreaming again.  When I grow up I want to be a banker"

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