► To date, Taia Peace Foundation has rehabilitated a deteriorated 18-mile feeder road serving approximately 40,000 people previously isolated from the rest of Sierra Leone and the world - we want to build more roads. Without good roads, local economic well-being is out of reach.
► In Penguia Chiefdom, Kailahun District, we have provided funding to help farmers increase rice production by 70% and, as well, secured rice and cassava processing equipment from Fomel Industry and National Industrialization Centre (FINIC), a Sierra Leonean-owned manufacturer, to support crucial women’s economic empowerment.
► On education, we’ve issued scholarships to 50 meritorious students in Penguia, but our five-year, five-chiefdom plan is to support an additional 1,250 students as well as 250 uncertified teachers seeking accreditation. While education builds a bridge to future pro sperity and underpins strong participatory democracy, over 35,000 local children do not regularly attend school!
► TPF has supplied soccer uniforms to local youth clubs in Penguia and Diang Chiefdoms, Koinadugu District, and at the request of the Penguia Chiefdom Youth Association leadership, helped construct a 300 meter, five-lane running track to support an initiative to increase athletic competition for youth. The youth measured and marked the track, and TPF obtained TLR dozer support to level the grounds for the track.
► In Diang Chiefdom, members of the youth soccer league re-built their local clinic’s birth-waiting center in exchange for TPF’s assistance in their building a soccer pitch. The heavy equipment needed was loaned in-kind by Taia Lion Resources.
►Under threat of some of the world’s highest maternal and infant mortality rates, approximately 13,000 women of reproductive age live within our areas of operation with only 20-or-so midwives, doctors, and nurses available to serve them and the larger local population. Life expectancy is a mere 47 years!
Exemplifying the type of NGO collaboration we seek, TPF is partnering with International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI), not only to upgrade the training of local midwives, nurses and other medical personnel but also to provide access to over 800 routine and emergency surgical procedures to the citizens of Kailahun and Koinadugu Districts.
TAIA PEACE FOUNDATION'S DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES
Roads in rural Sierra Leone are often dangerously under-maintained and deteriorated. Good roads are essential to generating positive socio-economic change. Rebuilding roads is often the first step toward sustainable development, providing vital access to local, national, and international markets; emergency health care services; qualified educators; and national security services; etc. TPF’s most significant infrastructure project to date, undertaken with funding support from Tiffany & Co., was the rehabilitation of the 18-mile Manowa-Sandaru road serving approximately 40,000 people (project report available here).
The agriculture potential in Sierra Leone is massive, but farmers require proper seeds, inputs, equipment, and techniques if they are to achieve food security and generate greater revenues through the increased production of commercial cash crops for domestic and international distribution and sale. To farmers in Penguia Chiefdom, Kailahun District, TPF provided 500 acres of seed rice and the down payment on a tractor so as to increase local rice output by 70%. Funding for the project was provided by Band From TV.
Women's economic empowerment is critical to reducing poverty in rural African settings. Women are more likely to invest their income to the broader benefit of their community than men. Economic gender inequity produces counter-productive cultural realities that undermine sustainable development aspirations and contribute to high maternal and infant mortality rates. Absent educational opportunity, teen-age girls are vulnerable to subordination and are given to marriage and child bearing too soon. During Sierra Leone's civil war, rural women and girls were often victims of sexual violence, abduction and other atrocities. There remains a need for trained, culturally sophisticated counselors and psychologists to assist with female victims. Female genital mutilation persists. Together with women in Penguia Chiefdom, TPF is designing a woman’s economic empowerment program around farming, agriculture processing of rice and cassava, soap making, and silk weaving. This is being accomplished through TPF helping the women organize the Rural Farm Women Association cooperative.
Sierra Leone is needful of rural development opportunities geared specifically toward youth - i.e., skills training for employment, suitable employment, safe sex/birth control education and drug/alcohol education. Youth unemployment, disenfranchisement, and disillusionment were significant drivers behind Sierra Leone’s civil war and, collectively, remain a primary concern going forward. TPF has maximized youth employment in its infrastructure rehabilitation projects and has provided equipment to local youth soccer clubs. In Diang Chiefdom, Koinadugu District, members of the youth soccer league re-built their local clinic’s birth-waiting center in exchange for support from TPF.
Sierra Leone suffers from one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world and the life expectancy at birth is a mere 47 years. Improved access to healthcare and health education decreases maternal and infant mortality rates and lessens the impact of routine illnesses and ailments as well as more dangerous diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. Also, there exists an urgent need for trained nurses and other medical personnel, new and improved clinics, as well as power generation for treatment rooms, birthing centers, and refrigerated pharmaceutical storage facilities. TPF is collaborating with International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI) to develop wide-reaching healthcare strategies and initiatives to serve our partner communities.
Qualified teachers and quality learning materials are critical for the education of new generations of Sierra Leoneans. Many teachers require training toward certification – uncertified teachers are unpaid by Government. Unpaid teachers don’t teach. Scholarship assistance to teachers seeking certification will have tremendous positive impact on education. Schooling, when available, is not free, so too many children will never go to school and, therefore, will neither be literate nor optimally contributive to socio-economic or democratic development within their communities. With the support of the Segal Family Foundation, TPF has provided 50 scholarships to meritorious female and male primary, secondary, and college students of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds in one chiefdom. Our five-year, five-chiefdom plan is to support an additional 1,250 students as well as 250 uncertified teachers seeking accreditation.
Safe Drinking Water
Access to clean water is limited in many rural areas throughout the country - many communities are in need of new wells, reservoirs, and/or pipe systems. TPF has identified water as a priority in Diang Chiefdom.
Old, artisanally mined-out areas are dangerous and festering – the need exists for the reclamation of these areas to more economically and environmentally advantageous conditions. With a grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, TPF is developing a project to reclaim, refocus, and revitalize 200 mined-out acres in Penguia Chiefdom (project proposal available).