About the project
Programme for Children (PFC) is a registered Sierra Leonean NGO held in high regard in Sierra Leone for the work they do to support communities and build educational opportunities. Since 1980, Joseph Williams-Lamin and PFC have constructed over 65 schools, countless latrines and water wells, and provided scholarships for thousands of children to go to school. Programme for Children has worked with partners in Denmark and the United States, Schools for Salone, on social, education, water, sanitation and human rights issues in Sierra Leone.
The 10-year civil war, ending in 2002, destroyed most of the country’s infrastructure. Sierra Leone has made small successes to rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, governance, and worked to reinstate peace, but development has proved slow. It is challenging at best for students to continue their education past primary school in the more rural areas due to lack of a nearby middle school. Families must often decide between sending their student off to live elsewhere, closer to a middle school, or walk significant distances to go to school.
Programme for Children (PFC) works together with local villages that identify a need for a school, the village donate and clear the land. The overarching objective is to improve access to education in Njomborhun by working with the community to build a four-classroom school with a rainwater collection handwashing station and a latrine with three private stalls. The school will need a water well to assure access to clean water for drinking and sanitation and hygiene. Additionally, PFC will help establish the school with the tools and resources it needs to get off the ground, including furniture, books, bookshelves, learning materials, and school supplies.
How we help
In 2019, Mona Foundation committed to helping Programme for Children, in collaboration with Schools for Salone, build a four classroom middle school, providing 150 children safe access to education.
This project directly relates to Mona Foundation’s mission of reducing poverty through universal education because it will significantly increase the number of students who can further their education past primary school, especially girls, in this impoverished area of Sierra Leone. This project directly responds to needs that originated in the community and will change the future of an entire generation.
The Mona Foundation team returned late September from the opening celebrations of the middle school Mona funded in Njomborhun village in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
The trip was a profound experience. We have never been more inspired by a determined people. As a result of the dedicated efforts of the community and government, children from six villages will now receive a quality middle school education in a safe environment.
Building the school was a dream come true for the villages, and their delight and gratitude were obvious throughout the ceremony.
Among the greeters were chiefs from six villages, officials from the ministry of education, other officials, and all the women leaders who had pleaded for the past three years with Programme for Children to build the school.
At the ceremony, one leader after another stood up to say building the school was a collaboration between local and global nonprofits and the government, but now “their work ends and your work begins.” They stressed the school’s success depends on the chiefs, elders, parents, and students. “Your backs are made to carry backpacks and not babies” was heard again and again.
There are seven primary schools in the Njomborhun village environs. For these students to continue their education past primary school they must either walk six to eight miles each way to the nearest middle school or find somewhere to stay near the school. The distance the students have to walk significantly affects the number that actually go on to further their education. Unfortunately, this leaves girls vulnerable and has led to a high rate of teenage pregnancy.
The objective is to improve access to education in Njomborhun by working with the community to build a four-classroom school with a rainwater collection handwashing station and a latrine with three private stalls. The school will need a water well to assure access to clean water for drinking and sanitation and hygiene. Additionally, we will help establish the school with the tools and resources it needs to get off the ground, including furniture, books, bookshelves, learning materials, and school supplies.
Njomborhun is in Jaiama Chiefdom, a Chiefdom that is very motivated to improve educational opportunity for their children. Students in Njomborhun have to walk eight miles each way to the nearest middle school, a distance that is not practical for most children. Children have been dropping out of school when they reach intermediate level because it is not practical or affordable to attend school so far away. The new middle school would start with approximately 150 students (85 girls and 65 boys) coming from the five surrounding primary schools.
Schools for Salone and Programme for Children have completed
24 similar schools and 3 libraries together in pursuit of providing access to education to children across Sierra Leone.
2020 Project Goals
- Build a four-classroom school with a rainwater collection handwashing station and a latrine with three private stalls which will initially serve 150 students.