Sierra Leone: A WellFound year in Review

WellFound has been operating in Moyamba district in Sierra Leone for the past two years now. We are absolutely thrilled with our progress so far, although much work is still needed in this remote region.

Our work 2019-2020

Of course, we are now focused on facing the challenges posed by the coronavirus. More of that later. But first we wanted to share some of the results since April 2019.

Water

In the past year, we have brought safe drinking water to over 4,518 people in Moyamba district. This is an outstanding achievement, especially considering the remote nature of the region. Additionally, we trained 9 young people to maintain the wells. We make sure that each village has several people with the knowledge and skills needed. Those people live in the villages, meaning that when a well needs attention there is always someone who knows how to fix it. 

School children celebrating their newly installed well

Market Gardens

We have trained 57 women on sustainable farming methods and supported villages to set up three new market gardens. These give people access to a balanced and healthy diet, and are a source of economic, social and emotional empowerment for women. Women sell excess yields at market, meaning that for the first time in many of their lives they are making their own money.

WellFounds Health Worker travelling to the villages along rough and rugged roads

Equality

We have held 18 workshops focusing on equality. As a result, over 40 women have reported and demonstrated more confidence in participating in village decision-making. That’s not all, at least 25 men have reported and showed more supportive attitudes and behaviour towards women. Women now have opportunities to take more active roles in their villages. They provide healthcare, income and vegetables and they participate in decision-making committees.

Our equality training is not limited to gender however. Elderly people and those with disabilities were consulted during the planning stages of the project. The result: toilets and wells were built near their homes for easier access, and prototype toilets were designed with improved access for residents with vision problems, physical disabilities and age-related problems.

Financial independence

This is a key aspect to ensure independence. We can help build financial independence in two ways. Firstly, individual incomes can be increased by providing training for people on construction and mechanics, sustainable farming and how to find local economic opportunities. Secondly, whole villages can become financially independent by establishing community-wide micro-saving schemes.

Students putting their training in well maintenance and repair into practice

Coronavirus and our plans for the coming year

That was a brief summary of a very busy year, but now of course we all face the challenges of Coronavirus. The virus is preading in Sierra Leone and has already been confirmed in Moyamba district. Already we are coming across instances of severe hardship and food shortages in the area.  We have seen in the UK how quickly it can take hold and what an impact it can have. Our priority is to continue to help the villages where we work whilst of course ensuring the safety of our staff and the villagers.

We are focusing our efforts on building more hand washing stations, health and hygiene training, horticulture training and particularly on raising awareness of coronavirus. We are working in partnership with the Sierra Leone Government and other organisations, to increase our effectiveness. The situation is likely to develop rapidly over the coming months, so our planning must remain flexible. We will of course keep you up to date with major developments.

We are looking for donations to support those vulnerable people whom need support with water, food and information.

Until then, stay safe, stay positive and from everyone here at WellFound, thank you for your support.

If you would want to know more about our work in Sierra Leone, please email contact@wellfound.org.uk or call 02079987376

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