Project information

Start date: 1 September 2014

End date: 30 April 2018

Locations: Kenema, Tonkolili, Bonthe, Pujehun, Moyamba and Bo Districts, Sierra Leone

The Challenge

The communities selected for this project were among the poorest in the Southern and Eastern regions of Sierra Leone following the devastating impacts of conflict. The main drivers of poverty in these communities were: high illiteracy rates; high youth unemployment and a lack of employable skills; water scarcity and poor sanitation; lack of business opportunities and support; and discrimination towards disadvantaged people.

Our project

This project supported 12,000 people in 12 of the poorest rural communities in Sierra Leone to access their basic rights – including livelihoods opportunities and clean water and sanitation. Using our tried and tested community-based organisation (CBO) model with our local partner MAPCO, the project established 12 sustainable CBOs with the skills and confidence to continue serving their members with essential services. By project end, 911 families and 671 young people had increased their annual incomes by 74% on average compared to the start of the project.

“Many thousands of vulnerable people now have opportunities, choice and control in their lives where previously they had little or none.”

External project evaluation, November 2017

Francis’ story

Francis is a member of one of the community organisations (CBOs) supported by our project. She is proud of what she has been able to achieve thanks to opportunities provided by this project. Francis has 3 children who can now all attend school as she is earning money through trading and farming, having accessed a loan and agricultural support from the CBO to boost her business.

On her involvement with the CBO, Francis spoke about being here for a purpose and being able to acquire knowledge. “We have to become involved in the process to help ourselves”. She is hopeful for the future of her CBO and community: “We will be able to continue because we have been given capacity, we have received the support so that we can continue to grow and develop ourselves.”