Sierra Leone Update 2019
Sensory Dimensions have continued their work with the charity Rory’s Well to improve the lives of some of the communities in Sierra Leone. Rory's Well are 'a life-giving project working sensitively and co-operatively with Sierra Leone, empowering local people and transferring skills for future independence....'helping those in need to help themselves in a truly sustainable way.'
The purpose of our second visit was to review progress of previously funded initiatives and the existing programmes in Sonjour 1. By establishing further information about the local communities, the number and conditions of available wells, we could gain insight into the pertinent issues and priorities for the 8 villages in the district. This information could then aid and improve the current projects and future investments.
Positive new since our 2018 visit!
- A local legal NGO is now in place with an office and 5 staff in Bo (Sierra Leone's second largest city). This provides huge benefit to the local projects as there is scope to instigate and oversee the investments and provide useful functions, like importing seeds, machinery and spares, with all with correct legal documentation. Another advantage is that it creates more opportunity for progressing ideas and getting things done on a bigger scale.
- The girls school in Bo has a new upper story extension being built plus further plans for a new science block to be added.
- The village well has been repaired and is fully working.
- The progress in the agriculture programme has yielded really positive outcomes. The last harvest of rice, beans and vegetables was hugely successful and far higher than expected. The investment in this programme with the construction of a rat proof store has meant that the harvest, that was 3 times larger than estimated, which has given the villages enough produce to be used for local food, income and seeds for the next years planting.
- The income from the harvest of ground nuts provided money for school uniforms which enables more children to attend the school
- Nutrition has improved the quality of health in the region.
- The broken pumps have been repaired resulting in 4 additional functioning wells for the local communities.
- A new primary school was completed in March 2019. It was a real community effort. Everyone helped out in some way to complete this project; villagers made desks and blocks, and even the children carried a small rock each day on their heads to be used for the foundations.
Rory's Well charity are also investigating new ways to improve life in the villages they they support:
- A Solar pump has been installed in Taninahun – one tap serves 500 peoples needs. There are plans to install similar pumps in other villages Replicate the success of Bee farming initiatives in other regions.
- 85 Bee Farmers are now trained which is another a great livelihood opportunity.
- A herringbone style drainage system pilot has been successful and would benefit Sonjour 1.
- Development of an agrigcultural programme encouraging sustainable methods of farming which produces a more reliable method of farming and minimises the environmental impact, as well as man power and time required cultivate the land. It encourages a long term sustainable future for the community, developing a farming surplus that can be sold to provide the economic necessities and help them utilise the land most effectively and efficiently whilst considering the environmental cost to their farming.
Sensory Dimension will focus on fundraising activities throughout the year to support these new initiatives and to further improve the lives and legacy of the adults and children in these communities. For more information, or details about how you can help, visit Rory’s Well.