The New Community Centre
He then appealed to the ONL for help with the rest of the building. We had some questions first because the ONL constitution states that we can only be involved in projects that benefit the whole community. Trustees ascertained that the building would be available to all citizens regardless of political affiliation, religious beliefs, tribal or ethnic background or social status. It is a large project – a two storey building, to be used for social events such as weddings, the local Court hearings and educational and health courses. James sent estimates…
‘The fund to build the center is big but I believe the link will help us to raise it to wall height. We will there after seek other areas.
We need one ton iron rods @Le 12,000,000.
Cement 150 packets/bags @ Le 150,000
Total=34,500,000Le which is 37500 NLe’
(Note there is still confusion in SL about old/new money!)
The Trustees agreed to send £1500 to enable the building of the walls.
Photos were received on the 3rd June…
‘Good morning All, be informed work on the community centre has commenced today with brick casting. James.’
In Sierra Leone houses are built using concrete blocks that are cast by hand. They dry quickly in the sun.
The aim is to help the main bread winners within families, often women, to produce food for their families to eat and also some to sell to provide a small income.
In 2021 funds were sent to Newton to enable the purchase of seeds/plants and chickens to be distributed to about 20 ladies. This was successful and so in January 2023 trustees sent some more money to Newton to support another group of 20 women in James Kabia’s farming scheme.
Each of the twenty women who will benefit from The Farming Basket project was given the sum of one million three hundred thousand old Leones ( le 1300 new Leones or about £60) each.
The first beneficiaries of the Farming Basket project, showing their harvest of Crain Crain leaves, a local dish eaten with rice or foo foo (cassava dumplings). Photos sent to us in March 2023.
We hope to be able to raise funds for similar projects. If you are interested in helping please see our how you can help page.
We have supported a scheme to train people in tailoring, by sending sewing machines and other equipment and by financing the building of a room for them to work in – so that teaching can carry on during the wet season. we were very pleased to hear that James Kabia has been awarded the contract to make the uniforms for the new secondary school in Newton-Kpoubu. The ONL recently sent out an overlocking machine to James Kabia, to help in his efforts to train young people in tailoring. We received this message and these photos from him:
Good afternoon our good friends of Olney, I am very much pleased to let you know that I have with pleasure, I would have better say mind blowing gratitude and joy, that I have received the over locking machine. May I on my behalf and on the behalf of my people of KPOUBU-NEWTON thank you for your relentless efforts of putting smiles on the faces of my people. God bless you and keep you. Long live the Olney—NEWTON link. Stay blessed. James Kabia
In March 2023 we received a request from Komba Nfalie, Headteacher of Christ Evangelical School, to support the purchase of a jack pump to improve safety for the children needing to use the well to draw water.
The first picture shows children using a bucket and rope to get water from the open well. The second is the well with newly installed pump. Much better!
In November 2021, we received an appeal from the committee in Newton to help them carry out repairs to 5 water wells. After some enquiry into the enormous potential cost of repairs to 2 of the wells and receipt of photos of the wells concerned, it transpired that only 3 of the wells used hand pumps – these having been built with funds raised by the Link. The other 2 have towers and tanks with submersible pumps (boreholes), and were built by a now defunct NGO. Not only was the cost of repair prohibitive, but this type of well is more costly to run and requires considerable maintenance. With very limited funds available, it was felt that we should send funds to enable the 3 hand pumped wells to be repaired.
Two repairs have been completed and we are awaiting details of the third.
The Preschool, which is now well established, is hoping to become a recognised education establishment. This meant that the Sierra Leone Government’s Education Department’s requirements have had to be complied with.
These have included building a boundary wall around the perimeter to ensure the safety of the children, and carpeting throughout, among others. We have been able to send funds to enable the purchase of materials, including money to purchase and lay paving round the building, to try to protect the new carpet! It is thanks to your continued financial support that funds are available, as, obviously, normal fund raising activities were impossible for almost 18 months.
The latest requirement, requiring the need to send money, is the registration of the land on which the Preschool is built. Hopefully, once the application is processed, it will be “adopted” by the Government and become self supporting. We will keep you posted!