Around this time last year, Impact Sierra Leone (ISL) was still just an idea. Following months of networking, volunteering, and an urgency to build on the momentum, we officially launched in November 2019 and was recognized as a registered charity in May 2020. Simultaneously, the Covid-19 crisis began to rapidly change the landscape of communities around the world. Despite this reality, there was still a great need to provide life-saving services to vulnerable populations in Sierra Leone and around the world. ISL pushed forward and was committed to changing lives amid such an unprecedented time. Thanks to the outpouring of support from around the world, the following highlights some of our accomplishments over the last year.
Impact Sierra Leone continued its strong relationship with Save The Young Girls Foundation Orphanage. ISL, who has supported the orphanage since June 2019, has been instrumental in providing critical basic needs and services for the 28 young girls who were abandoned through various circumstances. In December 2019, ISL sponsored its first event called the Compassion Donation Drive which collected not only Christmas toys, but much needed school supplies to prepare the girls for the following school year.
In May, ISL introduced and held the My Body Is My Body (MBIMB) workshop at the orphanage with the support of the MBIMB founder, Chrissy Sykes. ISL provided virtual training to teach the girls the MBIMB songs which promotes child safety and empowerment.
In May, ISL officially joined forces with Kampala Agricultural Association to establish the Impact Sierra Leone-Kampala Agricultural Farm located in Foindu village bringing hope to hundreds of rural community members who never had opportunity to work prior. This collaboration was made possible by the Kampala Agricultural CEO and Chief Farmer, Dr. Mohamed Bangura. Our efforts have employed the young and old, especially the youth and has gained attention from neighboring communities.
• In July, critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including, hundreds of face masks, hand-washing buckets and bottles of hand-sanitizer were donated to the Yonibana Secondary School (YSS) in Sierra Leone. This, along with other efforts have helped mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the rural area of Yonibana, where the school is located.
In June 2020, ISL launched a T-shirt campaign for the purpose of ongoing fundraising. Purchase of these tshirts have helped with the cost of shipping barrels to Sierra Leone.
• In July, ISL again partnered with F.A.R.M.S to promote sustainable development and provide farming communities with supplies and machinery. Through our efforts, over ten farming groups registered under ISL received seedlings, fertilizer, and farm tools to prepare for a great winter harvest. ISL’s goal is to strengthen and revitalize agriculture and address food insecurity in several rural communities in Sierra Leone.
In August 2020, ISL shipped over six barrels containing clothing, shoes and supplies. These items will be distributed to meet two orphanages and will also meet needs of our poorest within the rural farming community.
In September 2020, ISL partnered with F.A.R.M.S to donate an abundance of fruits and vegetables to ensure healthy eating.
While grateful for the produce, ISL recognized their need for a balanced diet. ISL purchased immediate food items and presented Peace Village Orphanage with two bags of rice, cooking oil, chicken, and other essential food items.
Our efforts have empowered the children and is reducing poverty.
In addition to reducing hunger, ISL saw a great need to help provide quality education for the children. The orphanage identified a great need for each child to have a new school uniform. ISL provided necessary funding for new uniforms to be sewn.
We also ended October with a Back To School Campaign which collected new bookbags and school essentials for 51 children.
• ISL launched the “My Body is My Body” Campaign in Yonibana, Sierra Leone. On October 17, 2020, ISL held the MBIMB workshop virtually to discuss solutions around the topic and included key representatives from ISL, YSS and experts in the field.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce instances of sexual harassment in school, communities and in homes and provide a safe space for young girls to report abuse. This workshop is designed to address sexual harassment against young school-aged girls in It would also serve as a soundboard to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy in the village.
As we near the end of the year, we reflect on how grateful we are to be of service to those in need. None of this could have been accomplished without God’s grace and support from our donors, family members, friends, and sponsors. Moving forward, we anticipate that the need for our services will increase. ISL is gearing up to meet the challenges ahead and remain steadfast in our commitment to empower communities in Sierra Leone with education, training, and support. Together, we are shaping the future of Sierra Leone, one child, one family, one community at a time. United We Stand and Together We Rise! Thank you!
Written by: Yeabu Conteh & Adama Kalokoh